After God finished creating, he looked at what he had made and called it “very good”. All things contain innate goodness and, although they have been corrupted by our own pervasive sin, “all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth” and “looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay“. Part of our stewardship of the image God has implanted within us and our joyful calling as children of the Most High is to unite with the good creator who redeems to restore the good creation from the bondage of corruption.
We proclaim the victory of Christ over corruption, we labor in love to redeem small pockets from the effects of sin in order that we and our grace-empowered works may shine like lamps on stands to bring hope to the despairing who long to be enticed by true beauty into the light and love of the kingdom-family of God.
For beauty is that quality, when possessed, that inspires the hope that brings peace.
When we see magnificent vistas from a mountain, our souls are reminded that our God is great and mightier than any anxieties besetting us, and we find ourselves stilled, at peace.
When we behold the splendor of the stars, our spirits recall that the light of Christ shines into the world far more brightly than any constellation, and the sorrows of our lives are but fleeting shadows to be banished by the inevitable dawn, and with a sigh of relief we can face another day.
When we marvel at the purity of a child, shielded from the worries and cares of the wider world as they are able to be fully present and love a broken stranger unconditionally in a way we have lost, and we find an abiding resolve to sacrificially serve those whom life has chewed up and spit out and declare to all things that no amount of crushedness can shut out the love of their creator flowing through us.
When we witness another believer able to weather a hurricane of cancer, death, poverty, abandonment because of the firm foundation of Christ, we have assurance that he shall prove a solid rock for us in temptation and trial.
When we consider the true god from true god tortured to death for the payment of our own sins our of undeserved love for us, and hear the universe rumble “IT IS FINISHED” as he breaks death forever in his resurrection, the beauty of his redemption of all things is too wonderful for all of our life-songs together to proclaim the completeness of his due praises until he gives us a seat in an eternal choir.
Because of this beauty, our rightful act of worship is to polish the mirrors of our lives that we may reflect his beauty best to the despairing around us, that they might share in the hope we found.
We identify, speak to, and encourage the beauty in those around us. We change societies and cultures to a small fraction of the hope we have been given to those who surrendered to despair long ago, that they might taste and see that the kingdom and Lord are good.
Some have said that men long for a beautiful woman to fight for. I disagree. I believe that all humans desire to fight for the triumph of beauty over death and despair in all things. Whether that means withing a marriage or celibate, with our biological children or with the children God entrusts to us for anywhere from a few minutes of interaction to a lifetime adoption, whether in politics or church or business, we joyfully lay down our lives. And, when we sweat and bleed selflessly in an imitation of our savior through the power of his spirit within us, we are beautiful with the beauty which brings hope and peace to a world in need.