Surprised by Beauty

herontire2Beauty can’t seem to help showing up in places one would least expect it to be. It does not seem to know that an area or situation is beyond beauty. Apparently there is no such thing as beyond beauty. It just can’t help itself.

The other day I was walking by a trailer that had burned down. They had cleared away much of the remains and set right in front was a beautiful peony bush starting to bloom. It was stunning and beautiful set against such heartbreak and sadness. It seemed to be defiantly popping up in a space that is full of brokenness to remind those who choose to see that there is still life and hope to be found there.

beauty1 And then I started thinking about all the pictures of beauty that I have taken over the years of broken down barns, abandoned trucks, tires in random spaces all with beauty overtaking them.


Beauty does not seem to have a boundary or a place that it will not appear. Somehow in the darkest places beauty grows in grandeur as it boldly appears to give hope that darkness will not overcome. As I continued that walk I noticed that people were taking back spaces that had been known for darkness or brokenness. The house that had been raided for drugs a couple of years ago now had a hanging basket of flowers on the porch and a potted tomato plant. The broken down trailer the farmer has for his dairy farm workers now has twinkle lights and a garden out back. As I walk by the barn I hear music with a lively beat.

22498934_10159444336950164_4564958038216801150_oI was reminded of the people singing out their windows and on their balconies in Italy during the shut down. The musician playing in the empty square filling the space with deep, hopeful beauty. In the midst of death and despair hope rises up in the form of beauty. There is nowhere beauty cannot be found. Sometimes it is nature creeping up to overtake an area burned over, but other times it is a human being acting in kindness. It is the nurse in the ICU being patient with a frantic family member, it is songs filling spaces of heartache and brokenness. It is the absurd bringing laughter to a tense situation. It is the little child knowing that someone needs a hug.

beauty3This odd season has me craving beauty. I am reminded of Goethe’s quote that I have shared before, but the last part struck me as we continue to walk through these days.

A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.

Beauty reminds us of the Creator and gives us the hope we need to carry on. May we be those who see the beauty and also add beauty to the darkest spaces we encounter. No space is lacking in room for beauty, it is implanted in our very souls.




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