a celebration of beauty

I really can’t tell what’s beautiful anymore.  I passed two young fellows on the street the other day.  I know who they are, they work for the garage.  They’re not churchgoing, either one of them, just decent rascally young fellows who have to be joking all the time, and there they were, propped against the garage wall in the sunshine, lighting up their cigarettes.  They’re always so black with grease and so strong with gasoline I don’t know why they don’t catch fire themselves.  They were passing remarks back and forth the way they do and laughing that wicked way they have.

And it seemed beautiful to me.

– From: Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

I had a candle burning and some Ella Fitzgerald playing.  I read a book and drank jasmine tea.  And it seemed beautiful to me.

I had coffee with my mom and we shared struggles and stories.  We both cried and laughed together and it seemed beautiful to me.

I went a walk with my older brother and he told me some things that may have been hard to say; telling me things I needed to hear.  There was kindness and patience in his voice and I knew he wouldn’t be telling me any of it if he didn’t care about me and it seemed beautiful to me.

I watched as my friend, 4-years-old, searched with wide-eyed wonder for fairies.  She was excited to know the freckles spraying her nose are fairy kisses; even more excited to learn she was the fairies’ friend and it seemed beautiful to me.

I stayed up too late at Denny’s, catching up with the best friend I hadn’t seen all summer.  Sharing stories and bonding over burnt pancakes and so much laughter the waitress had to ask if we were okay and it seemed beautiful to me.

I had another reunion with another close friend and she did life with me; sat in a boring waiting room while the oil in my car got changed.  She ran the rest of my errands with me and then came home and we laughed together, dreamed together, talked about our futures and our dreams and our hopes and it seemed beautiful to me.

I drove up the street to see my grandpa for the first time all summer, spotted him on a walk with a neighbor.  My brother filmed me jumping out of the car to greet him and I have replayed the video so many times to see the look on his face when he sees it’s me; I rest in all the love I feel in that single expression of surprise and it seemed beautiful to me.

I watched the way my family interacted with one another on a family day-trip.  Mom, Dad, brothers–interacting so lovingly and I was so grateful to be part of a family who loves each other and wants to be with one another and it seemed beautiful to me.

The beauty of being home after a long adventure; the beauty of quiet and still after wild and brave.  The beauty of feeling love and rest from those who know me the most.  The beauty of knowing God and myself better through all it.

This morning, I rest in the gentle knowledge that my God does not forsake.  He is always leading, always guiding, always pursuing.  How could I not celebrate this God who is by very definition the epitome of beautiful?  Every glimpse we see of beauty this side of heaven is a glimpse of the God who knows us and loves us and seeks us.  Why do I strive to be beautiful when I have been hand-stitched and planned out by the God who is beauty?

God pursued me, he spoke to me gently.  He showed me truth and gave me peace and reminded me that I could trust him through everything and it seemed beautiful to me.


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