Beauty Is In The Eye of the Beholder
The other day I was driving to the north side of Austin with a friend from out of town. At one point we drove across the famous 360 Bridge that boasts incredible views of the Texas Hill Country and the Austin city skyline.
My friend exclaimed over the view, and then told me, "What an awesome place to live!" I had to admit, the view, the location, the city... all of it is pretty fantastic.
Unfortunately, when you've driven over it a number of times you tend to stop focusing on how beautiful it is and all you can see is the traffic ahead of you, and how long it's going to take you to get to your destination.
And then your friend who hasn't grown used to it, helps you see the beauty once again.
I feel like the ability to not only see but also appreciate beauty is a skill that we are losing in our current culture.
We lose this skill when our attentions are almost always fixed to the small computers who hold six inches or so from our faces... Or when we never pause to look at the world around us because we are too busy rushing from one place to another...
And when we lose this ability, we also lose something even more important: Our ability to see Christ in the world.
Simone Weil once wrote:
Beauty is the experiential proof that incarnation is in fact possible.I love that quote because it speaks to the signs and symbols of Christ's incarnation (God becoming what God loves) that are in the world all around us, all of the time.
And all we need to do is stop, breathe and truly open our eyes to see them/him.
C.S. Lewis wrote of this in his classic work Mere Christianity:
...at the center of [all of it], there is a something, or a Someone, who against all divergencies of belief, all differences of temperament, all memories of mutual persecution, speaks with the same voice.May you find moments today to take in the beauty of the world around you and see it more clearly as Christ himself. And may this knowledge give you joy that is indescribable and amazing.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.