“Beauty is God’s handwriting” is a phrase from a poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson (American philosopher and poet, 19th Century).
Its context is a wonderful reminder to us:
“Never lose an opportunity for seeing anything that is beautiful;
For beauty is God’s handwriting — a wayside sacrament.
Welcome it in every fair face, in every fair sky, in every fair flower,
And thank God for it as a cup of blessing.”
Beauty is one of the realities of life that convinces me to believe in a loving Creator who made us in His image.
Our ability to appreciate it sets us apart from every other created thing (except maybe the angels—I think they probably appreciate it, too!).
And if God implanted the love of beauty in our souls, it means He also loves beauty, since He created us in His image.
We only have to look around us to see the truth of that. Beauty is everywhere. Even in our broken world.
He’s put beauty in tiny, hidden places…
And He’s put it in vast, open places…
The beauty of the natural world reflects the beauty of its Maker.
“The heavens declare the glory of God.
The expanse shows His handiwork.
Day after day they pour out speech,
and night after night they display knowledge.”
~ Psalm 19:1-2
(World English Bible, public domain)
The frenzied pace of life and our daily anxieties that try to fill our minds can choke out beauty. It can cause us to overlook it. Keep our focus inward, instead of out and upward.
I like what Johann Wolfgang van Goethe (German writer and scientist of the 18th and 19th Century) wrote:
“A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry,
and see a fine picture every day of his life,
in order that worldly cares may not obliterate
the sense of the beautiful which God has
implanted in the human soul.”
I’ll add to that—we should get outside and hear the music of the natural world too: the wind in the tree tops, birds singing, crickets chirping, waves crashing on the shore.
We should see the beauty in the creation around us: the spectacular array of wild flowers, blue-green lakes and rivers, trees of every shape and size, sunrises and sunsets, our favorite animals.
Don’t you find that seeing beauty gives you a sense of fulfillment? Of amazement? A kind of joy that comes up from deep inside you somewhere?
With people, beauty isn’t just on the outside, but can be even more amazing on the inside. When people display goodness, kindness, generosity through their words and actions—that’s also a reflection of God’s beauty.
Take a little time today, tomorrow, every day…to look for, to recognize the many beauties around you…
“…and thank God for it as a cup of blessing.”
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