Add to the beauty

Sometimes things that are beautiful take a long time to become so.  And sometimes we don't see their true beauty until we love them. I long for beauty.  I always have.

But it hasn't always been a search for things of meaning.  I've been caught in the ugliness of that search before, crippled by worry about my physical appearance, sucked into a glossy view of beauty only to be shocked at the dirtiness that soils its underbelly.

For a while, "beautiful" was a word worth spitting out.

But now, I see that beauty is something of God.  It is sometimes hidden underneath the grime of years, buried beneath pain.

Real beauty reveals itself gingerly. Sometimes it looks ugly at first and sometimes it takes years and lots of love to discover.

My effort is thankfulness and joy: to have my sight, my hearing, my taste and my heart changed to see beauty where God sees it.  I long to "add to the beauty/ to tell a better story/ shine with the light that's burning up inside."*

I want to share the obviously beautiful things I encounter, like music, writing, photos, art.

But I also want to highlight those things that don't always get recognition.

So, here is where I see beauty today:

In a husband who plants and waters, who mows and grows, who provides good, traditional food when that's a scarcity.  Who cares for the earth by doing the inconvenient, the counterintuitive, spending days planting an acre of strawberries that could be planted by a big machine in twenty minutes. Who serves by doing something meaningful for very little in return besides the satisfaction of witnessing the earth doing what it was created to do. Who uses his free time to serve on leadership teams and prepare a sermon for Sunday. Who fights for truth and honesty.  Who loves his children. And loves his wife.  And serves those around him.

He adds to the beauty.

*Sara Groves' song "Add the beauty:"

We come with beautiful secrets We come with purposes written on our hearts, written on our souls We come to every new morning With possibilities only we can hold, that only we can hold

Redemption comes in strange place, small spaces  Calling out the best of who we are

And I want to add to the beauty To tell a better story I want to shine with the light That's burning up inside

It comes in small inspirations It brings redemption to life and work To our lives and our work

It comes in loving community It comes in helping a soul find it's worth

Redemption comes in strange places, small spaces Calling out the best of who we are

And I want to add to the beauty To tell a better story I want to shine with the light That's burning up inside

This is grace, an invitation to be beautiful This is grace, an invitation

Redemption comes in strange places, small spaces Calling out our best

And I want to add to the beauty To tell a better story I want to shine with the light That's burning up inside