Think about it. God. Created. Beauty. AND He created ways for us to appreciate and experience beauty. God connected beauty to joy and delight and take-your-breath-away awe.
He gave our eyes visual sensors connected to brain cells that comprehend the subtleties and intensity of color and depth and texture. Our ears perceive invisible sound waves carrying simple melodies and complex harmonies and baby coos and single drops of rain. Our fingertips have nerves that can feel the delicate smoothness of silk and the soothing warmth of a friend’s hand. He put receptors in our nose to experience smells that delight (and okay, sometimes disgust) us.
Even when our senses are unformed or destroyed, He compensates with heightened awareness and richness in another area. (Think Helen Keller.)
He created us with the ability to delight in a well turned phrase, to marvel at a blanket of snow laid across a mountain top, to drink in the fragrance of a delicate blossom. God loves to wow us with layers of beauty in His creation.
Our first years in this foreign land were grey. Grey buildings with grey walls on grey streets. Even clothing ended up muted by grey coal dust. In the midst of the cold and grey, we traveled to a tropical climate bursting with color and fragrances and sounds that I soaked in with delight. I went snorkeling for the first time and was overwhelmed with a whole new world of movement and intricate design hidden under the waves. I literally had to bring my head out of the water to gasp, “You are amazing, God!”
Maybe like me, you have been missing beauty and not even realize you’ve been hungering for it. Here are a few ways to add beauty to your life.
Bring beauty into your home
Our first apartment was populated with campus castaways and mismatched leftovers. My attempts to bring beauty to our home included almost passing out from paint fumes not designed for indoor use – but the bookshelf did turn out a lovely blue.
I was inspired by Holly who had just moved back to our city, stenciling ivy leaves on the borders of her walls in a living room displaying matching patterns and colors.
And Anne who found plant and flower markets and filled her lovely home with life and nature, replacing fluorescent lights with lamps that gave off a soft glow which highlighted curtains made in rich fabric that actually fit the windows.
I was invited into the home of resourceful Carmen who created the most beautiful vignettes with ordinary things from her local morning market. Her apartment was filled with fragrance and home baked goodies. Just being in these women’s homes filled a chasm in my soul. They understood that beauty ushered in a sense of welcoming rest.
Create beauty in your conversations
Some of us live in noisy places. Construction, traffic, conversations we don’t yet understand. Auditory overload is a part of daily life. And some of us live in deathly quiet places where we long for more stimulation. But most certainly, all of us are in need of the beauty of kind and gentle words of encouragement and hope.
Stop and smell the roses
Yes, it’s corny and reminds you of a faded poster hanging somewhere in the 80’s. But honestly, is there anything more nourishing than literally stopping in the middle of chaos and breathing in life with all your senses and appreciating God’s good and beautiful creation?
Look for the image of our beautiful Creator in others
I was having one of those moments… Just get me out of here and let me enjoy creation! With no easy access to the countryside and no transportation that didn’t involve an exorbitant amount of time or money, I felt trapped by all these people invading my space.
Then I heard a gentle whisper, “Patty, look around. You are surrounded by My best creation.” So, I began looking for His image in the people around me. And I saw His tenderness in a dad holding his toddler’s hand. His loyal commitment in two old women walking arm in arm. His kindness in a smile directed my way. Notice God’s character reflected in your friends and neighbors and tell them how very beautiful they are.
In what ways do you bring beauty into your life?
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