March 7, 2006

Beauty in the Heart of the Beholder

The oft' quoted statement, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder," seems to be used more often as an excuse, than a recognition. Such beauty is subject to opinion. Therefore, a fundamental "beauty" problem exists for those who appeal to Truth being absolute. I believe that Beauty exists in most every created is just waiting to be REVEALED.

I presently live in Hawaii, a place widely acclaimed as one of the most beautiful places on earth. Tag lines such as "Paradise" are never far from its identification. Rugged mountains, beautiful waters, diverse beaches, ancient lava flows and an ever flowing volcano characterize this "beautiful paradise." People save their entire lives, just to get here...the pinacle of vacations...the best to be hoped for.

I gazed out the window this afternoon o'er lava fields on the desert side of the Big Island, as a plane destined for Oahu carried me down the runway. Beauty was evident. The sun pouring over the waters reflected of the low clouds covering the coastline with a golden glow. Recognizing the Beauty i sat in awe as the plane soared into the air. Circling round to its proper course, the plane dipped to reveal the beauty of the entire coastline in full. As I rested in the beauty before me, the grumblings of many near passengers drifted around the cabin. Distracted by, "uncomfortable seats," "cloudy weather," "too much construction," and "too much turbulence," they were missing the beauty displayed before them! I felt inclined (as i often do) to tell them not to worry about such look with their eyes and see! And had i, they would have nodded to my enthusiasm, and dismissed me. (i've done it before).

Was beauty in the eye of the beholder? Did they recognize it as beautiful? I doubt they would have argued that it was pretty. My case in thought was to value Beauty as something far greater than what they eye might choose to acknowledge at a given time. A few months back, while driving with some "local" friends through lava fields I couldn't help but overflow with appreciation of the beauty of the intricucies in the the lava design. They laughed, not understanding me, saying, "most people just don't find beauty in the things you do." They laughed with appreciation though, and acknowledge longing for such enthusiasm, that i knew was a gift.

At least one of those in the car that day has learned to see such beauty when He received Christ into his life. Last week he commented to me about how such understanding of beauty has grown. Born and raised in Hawaii, the sights are all he has known, and yet they now have found greater meaning, and depth....and therefore he has found, and continues to find, greater appreciation, and satisfaction in recognizing not only the beauty of creation - but of The Creator.

Beauty is in the Heart of the Beholder. The Heart is the Wellspring of Life. I am not capable of understanding or recognizing Beauty. The world has destroyed every beautiful gift offered by making it a slave to vanity in various forms. And yet, the REDEMPTION of the LORD remains as near as ever. He invites us to join with Him in Rejoicing in His seek with the Eyes of Christ the Beauty He longs to reveal, in our surroundings, our fellowship, and our very lives. Unless He reigns in our hearts, we remain unable to appreciate the beauty that surrounds us. The enemy is a distractor, longing to pull our attentions to the wars, rumors of wars, tragedies and pains - distracting us completely from anything we have to be thankful for. The LORD does not wish us to turn a deaf ear to the pain in the world, but to meet it with LOVE...a LOVE born of HIM that draws the gaze Heavenward, thinking on things that are lovely, pure, and excellent. We are not of this world, Hallelujah. It is His miracle which allows us the grace to recognize HIM as Sovereign and King. By such Hope and Joy set before us to we endure the pain, scorning it's shame, taking up our cross daily to follow Him. That is Beauty. In the Heart, where Jesus dwells.

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