Katie is a dear friend and fellow believer at my church. She is a sweet example to me of God’s lovingkindness and beauty, always smiling and genuinely caring for those around her. Here are some notes she recently posted about what she’s learning. I couldn’t have put it better.
May 12, AM: “I Like Cool Stuff”
“Rich and savory food.
Beautifully tailored garments.
“Beauty in every tangible form makes my heart leap.
“But for the past several years I have struggled with reconciling this love with another:
A love for the work of God’s kingdom.
“Does purchasing a good quality cardigan belie my affection for my brothers and sisters in Christ who are suffering in poverty?
I know my love of beauty is the image of God upon my being, but can it coexist with an awareness of life’s transience?
“Recently I have been praying for the Lord to increase my understanding in this area.
To give me wisdom and distill my affections until what is left is a shimmering reflection of my God.
“One thing He is teaching me:
People who know Him are generous.
People who don’t know Him are covetous.
“That means, if I know Him, I won’t be primarily concerned about surrounding myself with beauty.
“I will desire to share my resources with others around me
more than I will desire to have the latest techno-gadget for myself.
I will be eaten up with concern for the needs of those in my local assembly
instead of eaten up by a desire to buy everything I want.
“But this isn’t the only thing I’m learning.
This is a multi-layered concept that my heart is grappling with.
“So stay tune.
More to come.”
May 12, PM:
“Another things God is teaching me:
He designed me to love beauty. To love beautiful things.
“Yes, He really did.
God is the original creator.
I don’t think you can look at the amazing universe around us and call God a conservative or restrained designer.
Colors! Textures! Varieties! Flavors! Shapes! Scents!
“Even in a sin-scarred world we stand in awe of His endless, extravagant creativity.
“And we are made in His image,
meaning to some He endows the skills and understanding to create in a similar manner.
“So, the fact that beautiful things (whether God or man made) pull at my heart and attract my attention
is not an indication of my “worldliness”.
It is an indication of being made in God’s image.
“God loves and makes beauty.
The same impulse in my heart reflects the imprint of the divine.”
May 13, PM:
“So, if God is a God of beauty, that brings me to another point:
We should grow in our understanding of beauty.
“This means educating ourselves and others to recognize and appreciate beauty…
in all its forms!
“Writing, music, fashion, food, art, theater….
These all find their source in God,
and the more we understand about them, the more accurately we can worship Him!
“So, it is good to learn.
“To appreciate well written literature and poetry,
rather than digest a constant fare of fluffy pop novels.
“To enjoy brilliantly constructed music,
even from other cultures and time periods.
“To understand what clothes are appropriate and flattering,
instead of just whatever is popular or cheapest.
“To cultivate a taste for nutritious and flavorful foods,
and ditch the habits of eating “as fast as possible” or “as much as possible”.
“To take in thoughtful art and meaningful drama,
rather than absorbing whatever is on TV at the moment.
“Just like we strive for accuracy in historical records or
wise use of finances,
we should learn to discern and enjoy what is truly beautiful.
What truly reflects Who our God is.”
May 16, AM:
“If beauty originates from God,
then not only should we appreciate it,
we should strive for it.
“My wonderful mother did much to instill in me
the simple ways of beauty:
“A clean and tastefully decorated home.
Fresh, nutritious, colorful home-cooking.
Modest yet flattering clothing, always appropriate (never too ahead of or behind the times).
Museum trips and concerts.
Beautiful flowers in the garden and on the table.
Thoughtful, lovingly written notes.
Reading the classics.
A contagious love for new and beautiful places.
“Mom taught me the important truth that
beauty is more common than we think.
“She taught me to look for it everywhere…
in used book stores and flower nurseries,
in the waves and sky at the beach (whether winter or summer),
in antique lace and old houses,
in a bowl of fresh fruit,
a walk in the park,
“And this awareness always produces contentment through thankfulness
over all the little ways
God’s beauty is seen and known.”