Why do people send flowers to the family for a funeral? Flowers aren’t practical like bringing a meal or providing some other useful service.
Sometimes the only thing that can comfort our tired, battered soul is beauty.
“Beauty reassures us that goodness is still real in the world, more real than harm, or scarcity, or evil. Beauty reassures us of abundance, especially that God is absolutely abundant in goodness and in life… Beauty is such a gentle grace. Like God, it rarely shouts, rarely intrudes. Rather it woos, soothes, invites; it romances and caresses. We often sigh in the presence of beauty as it begins to minister to us— a good, deep soul-sigh.”
– John Eldredge, Get Your Life Back
After a lengthy experience of narcissistic abuse and overwork I found myself craving beauty in various forms.
I felt absolutely compelled to repeatedly clear my calendar so I could head to the beach. With my toes in the sand, I did nothing for hours but breathe deeply and watch the waves roll in.
While sitting there simply breathing, little things became noticeable. Like the tiny sandpipers scurrying at the edge of the water line. I was enchanted watching them poking their slender bills into the sand, hunting a coquina morsel. Their stick legs were a blur of motion dodging the ebb and flow of waves at the water’s edge.
I decorated my home like a beach cottage. Soft ocean hues, white dotted cotton billowing curtains, watercolor prints of tranquil beach scenes and yes, sandpipers.
John Eldredge is right. Beauty really does minister to our soul and allows it to breathe deeply, especially in seasons that feel ugly.
How’s Your Daily Beauty Intake?
In Waking the Dead, John Eldredge points out when pain increases, our intake of beauty must increase in corresponding measure.
Our daily dose of beauty doesn’t always have to be something profound. It can be quite simple.
- How calming it feels to clear your workspace and add a plant or artwork on the corner of your desk
- The the lift in your heart when you go walking with the sunrise and hear the birds singing.
- Ten minutes of just being still, noticing the trees swaying with the breeze.
- Tuning out the chaos and tuning into into the sound of a fountain.
- Stopping long enough to allow your eyes to trace the silent ripples as a duck moves across the pond.
- The unfettered giggles of a child.
- The elegance of a sonata.
- A sleeping baby lying on your chest in footed pjs, smelling of soap and talcum powder.
What refreshes your soul and clears a path for creative thinking and an ability to finish the day well?
Join us in the Beautiful Life Virtual Cafe and let’s talk about it.