Wednesday, November 19, 2008

unreasonable beauty

We had a stroller picnic this morning. The kids have these amazing bibs from Baby Bjorn which I filled with cereal and cut-up fruit and we hit the road to enjoy a gorgeous morning. It is breathtakingly beautiful here. I'm tempted to qualify that sentence by putting 'in the Fall' on the end, or maybe 'when it's not raining,' but I won't. It is incredibly beautiful here every day.

I've been thinking about beauty. The dictionary says that beauty is the quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind. I agree with that definition, but I also see beauty as pure gift. It is a reflection of God's grace. There is no other explanation for the extravagant, immoderate, and unreasonable beauty in this world. Surely God could have made a natural world with all the same function of this one, but none of the form. Instead he chose to create fiery orange leaves, crimson red berries, emerald green grass blanketed by a shiny ice-blue layer of dew... and this is just what I can see from the sidewalk today. He chose to give us the gift of 'intense pleasure (and) deep satisfaction' through the beauty of creation.

I'm thrilled and astounded daily by the beauty I see around me, but what blows me away even more than this is the beauty I don't see. This is the true extravagance of God, that He creates the most exorbitant beauty even where no one will ever see it. How many flowers bloom each Spring completely unseen by human eyes? How many salmon jump at sunrise each morning while the world sleeps? There are uncountable moments of beauty happening all over the world at all times, some seen and some unseen. All of this leads me to the realization that beauty glorifies God, whether we witness it or not. God never ceases to be glorified in and through His creation. Even though we can't see it all, let's drink up what we can each day and give God the glory.


The Hyde Family said...

Oh how I miss Seattle! Thank you for the beautiful, familiar picture...I know exactly where you where when you took it. I do not know how anyone could deny that there is a God when there is so much beauty around us. Your children are gorgeous too. Great idea with the bibs. They looks so content to enjoy the ride.

Haley Ballast said...

Karen, I love that you know exactly where I took that picture! :) Seattle (and your friends who live here) miss you too!