Thursday, January 14, 2010

Enter: Beauty

It's been a hard few months.

It’s not that I’m bad with the truth, it just comes slower for me. The abrasion of transparency is too easily avoidable, and while I’m sure it’s been apparent to my closest friends, I haven’t been on the up-and-up as of late.

Personally, and probably too honestly, the last few months have been dark for me. For a few weeks, I was sure that God had grown dim in my heart. For a few days, I knew I had wandered too far outside of his grace. And for a few terrifying hours, I wondered if there was a God at all. "Maybe" I thought, "my western paradigm needs a convenient creation tale to sate the ugly questions and my fragile consciousness needs a story to believe that explains why, for some reason, we all feel orphaned in some way." Truly, it felt dark and wholly unnatural, like breathing underwater. If I'm honest, my lungs are still sore.

The doubt came in the desert. A dry and dusty few months with as little spiritual life as the terrain suggests. I’d been working constantly and was overwhelmed with obligations. I wasn’t sure what hours He kept, but my schedule never seemed to sync with God’s. Our shoulders would brush, and surely he was ready to talk, but honestly, I didn’t have the time.

Enter: Beauty.

Oh, Beauty. A notion as sincere as the sun and probably just as old. I have been confronted lately with the almost tangible and ubiquitous truth in beauty. I would argue that everyone, at some moment (hopefully many moments) has experienced some level of unmistakable beauty. No matter how often we overlook or avoid it, It is, for must of us, a regularity. But why is anything beautiful? A rocky coast and angry waves have very little evolutionary value, but I’d dare anyone to dismiss them as unremarkable. What good is it to be reminded of our fragility, and why does it stir into us something like wonder, rather than paralyzing fear (and, truly a wonderful mixture of each?) Beauty adjusts our compasses; it drives us northward.

It is laughter and pain (in equal, liberal doses) that forges bonds into brotherhood. It is joy that unites lovers and it is love that confirms them. The heart of God seems so full with desire that to ignore ours is probably the only way to walk in the opposite direction of Him. I'm learning that it's good to feel small, to measure ourselves against the bigness of a God so good He uses beauty, not codes or commandments, to fill our sails, to drive us northward, towards Himself.

It's so easy to live in an existence that feels determined by me, but living this way, is it any wonder I feel helpless, anxious, lifeless? Like a ship sinking from stilled seas, I need wind and I need waves and I need to plunge into the blue every so often, if only to see it’s terrible and beautiful depth.

And to remind ourselves, that the pool of grace is deeper than we can dive.


Kristin said...

easily one of the best

Otana (aka Theophila) said...

Just what I needed. Thanks for writing (and posting) this!

Rissa said...

I think the color change is perfectly fitting. There's no going back, you aren't allowed.

"The heart of God seems so full with desire that to ignore ours is probably the only way to walk in the opposite direction of Him."

Invite them back, let them burn, relearn what hope feels like, enjoy the pain in unfulfilled desire, because unfulfilled longing will forever outweigh the pain of a heart shut down to the very thing God yearns to draw us to Him.

"The bewilderment of unanswered prayer, the mystery of unanswered prayer bringing you closer to God in your petitions, and the HOPE offered in God's promises. Beautifully bittersweet."

More than it Seems to Be said...

thanks for this.

Anonymous said...
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nic said...

ah. the deepness of grace *is* far deeper than we can dive...there is no wandering outside of it. It encircles infinitely and you are never outside of it.