I enjoyed tonight’s PBS presentation of the annual Christmas Festival from Bethel University in St. Paul. I often had tears in my eyes during the beautiful choral and orchestral music. Some of the tears were from the simple joy of the music itself. Since brushing death this summer, I find tears of joy are far closer to the surface of my heart than ever before. And there were many such tears tonight. Thank you, Bethel, and thank you, Lord. . .
Some of the tears were tears of gratitude to the Creator of all Beauty for allowing mere mortals the incredible, immeasurable privilege of being creators of beauty ourselves. The Creator of the Universe has created us in his own Creative Image to share with us the sheer miracle of creating beauty and elegance and gracefulness. How sad must be the heart of God that we so often use our creative powers to hurt and twist and abuse each other and our planet.
Most deeply, my tears came as I looked at the many faces shown in close up views. I found myself praying for each person, “O Lord, please let their be someone who sees the beauty in this person.” Some of the faces were full of life, some were dull. Some of the faces were attractive, some kinda’ homely. But I knew that within each one there is a godly beauty, however masked it may be in some. I knew that some of those young people have already known intense pain, maybe abuse, abandonment and betrayal. Some have already set themselves on paths of self-destruction, even students at a Christian school like Bethel.
And so I prayed that each one of them would be discovered by someone else to be beautiful. And I thanked God for the gracious miracle by which he has allowed me to be the “discoverer” of the beauty of many others over the years. May you experience that same miracle, to be discovered and to discover.
I’m not speaking of mere sentimentality or “building someone’s self-esteem.” No, I mean something much deeper. Jesus Christ is the Forgiver and the Cleanser of our inner spirit, restoring and revealing the the very Image of the Father in all who will entrust themselves to him. The beauty that is found in that Image is real, solid, deep, substantive. Thanks be to God. . .