Why We Need Beauty

20130409-210313.jpgThis past weekend my husband and I took my mother and my brother to the new Crystal Bridges Art Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas. Normal Rockwell’s traveling exhibit was there along with the museum’s permanent collection of wonderful art.

While I knew my mother would enjoy it I was surprised that my brother, 6 years my junior, loved it as he did, but then he probably hasn’t been in an art museum since a decades ago school field trip.

I witnessed the power of beauty as I watched my farmer brother drink in the wonder, beauty, complexity, and creativity of each piece. Awe was evident in his frequent exclamations, “That’s just beautiful.”

“The beautiful appeals to what is noble, lofty and sublime in man, the ugly, when it attracts at all, appeals to what is selfish, wretched, squalid, and sordid,” say the authors of one of my favorite books, The Evidential Power of Beauty. Beauty attracts, inspires and lifts the spirit because beauty points to truth.

We were born to experience the truth of Him whose name is Beautiful whose creativity we experience every day. Mountains and jagged cliff seacoasts declare with drama God’s created beauty but so do the tiny purple wild flowers now blooming in our woods. No larger than 1/4 inch in diameter, hundreds of these tiny blossoms carpet the ground with stems and leaves the color of eggplant. They do not scream to be noticed like a 14,000 foot peak, but as I bent over to look more closely I saw with awe a piece of art as beautiful as any painting in any museum.

Discovering beauty gives life and reminds me of the life to come where wonder will never cease. Those little wow moments of worshipping God’s handiwork are good for my soul and I think they make God, my Father, smile when I notice the beauty He has made for my enjoyment.

 

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