To behold the beauty of the Lord
Recently, I was thinking about Paris. (Any excuse will do, right?) I got to go there in 2009, and I hope to return one day with Stephen. That city was just so full of beauty.
Of course I visited several art museums, where I saw enough beautiful paintings and sculptures to last a lifetime. I saw gorgeous architecture; in certain parts of Paris, run-of-the-mill buildings are as pretty as the best-looking thing in America. Even their Christmas decorations are more elegant than ours: It was January, and little lilac-colored bulbs still adorned the trees along the Champs-Élysées. Don’t get me started on Notre Dame.
I love remembering Paris, imagining myself there again, and soaking in it like a big mental bubble bath. But the best part is, all of that beauty points to something — or rather, Someone.
Ultimately, God is the source of all beauty. God is the One who gave those architects, artists, and even the designers of those Christmas lights, the ability to create things that delight the senses.
When the earth was formless and void, and darkness was on the face of the deep (Genesis 1:1-2), God is the One who said, “Let there be light” (verse 3). God is also the One who breathed beauty into those very words, into the language of scripture.
Regardless of whether a creator on this earth gives credit to their Creator, all the beauty they create cries out for us to look at Him. If we don’t give Him praise, nature will (Luke 19:40). All beauty comes from God.
Maybe “beauty” isn’t your thing. Maybe you’re more enthralled by history. So much has happened in 5,000 years of recorded events! For instance, February is Black History Month. Did you know Christianity was in Africa by the 1st century AD (500-plus years before Islam even began)? When I Googled “history of Christianity in Africa,” the results could’ve kept me busy for hours.
Go ahead, think of another topic and Google it. Your browser will explode with information.
If 5,000 years of earthly history contain that much, imagine what we can learn from Christ, “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3). Imagine what we can learn from our all-knowing Creator.
Like the rest of God’s character — including His love, His justice, and His power — His beauty and wisdom are two things we can praise Him for no matter what. I can’t always feel satisfied with myself or my circumstances, but I can know and be satisfied in Him: who He is, was, and ever will be.
How awesome that this God would love me enough to die for my sins so I could be with Him! How awesome that this God wants to be with me! “One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple.” – Psalm 27:4.
Oh, to inquire of God and gaze on His beauty! What a powerful, eternal privilege!
We can do that now, by the way. Not to the fullest extent — that’ll happen when we live in God’s direct presence in the coming age — but if we’ve put our trust in Christ, we have access to inquire of Him anytime. We can gaze on His beauty on this earth anytime — we just have to choose to see it.
Come create some beauty with me!
On Saturday, April 1, we will host our first-ever MCL Writing Retreat for women! We’ll gather at Roosevelt State Park in Morton for a day of rest, creativity and refreshment featuring Mississippi authors Tonja Murphy and Sherye Green, along with myself.
I’ll be sharing my journey with writing and faith; Tonja will speak on how to find your “God story”; and Sherye will share how to find your “sweet spot” or genre. We’ll have fun writing exercises, breakfast and lunch, and time to hike if you want! Space is LIMITED, but the retreat is open to writers of all experience levels. Sign up now at bit.ly/MCLwritingretreat.
Must-reads in this issue:
● Our cover story on Dr. Alyssa Killebrew and her journey of tragedy, faith and mental health, plus her SEK camp for teens
● Our feature story on Libbo and Clay Crosswhite, two “high school sweethearts” who keep it real
● Dan Hall’s column, “A boomer relearns love”