The news is beyond dreadful. And my powerlessness to do anything is both depressing and daunting.
So, I welcome a new responsibility – one that fits well with so many things I love. It’s not averting my eyes, but readjusting my focus. Here goes:
We have a theological responsibility to deliberately and regularly engage with beauty, because our God, his creation, and his people are all beautiful.
The Danger of Neglecting Beauty (Emphasis added)
How is this a good use of my time in the uncertainties of today’s news?
Because this responsibility I can do! What’s more, wherever I am, I can
Cultivate the habit of pursuing beauty. (Russ Ramsey)
Yeah – it means work – but so does griping, nit-picking, and droning on. And I can do both from the same chair! So, which is a better use of time and energy?
Engaging with beauty is a good thing for a seasoned citizen to undertake – and there are no excuses worth making to avoid trying.
Making a habit of pursuing beauty means
- Becoming child-like, and not childish;
- Appreciating, and not belittling;
- Imitating, and not ignoring. Therefore,
- Praying and giving are practical components of pursuing beauty.
Cultivating this new habit means using my senses and gifts, no matter how aged:
Look so I see, and
Listen so I hear.
Do, what I can with what I have, so I may rejoice in hope.
It’s not rocket science to get started and
Do four things, especially with troubling news:
- Take time to see the beauty of my husband, kids and grandkids. And friends. Before spring spills green throughout the branches, let me see all those bare branches lifting their arms as if a thousand hands are clapping.
- Hear the music that is daily companion. Let me listen to another person’s opinion and learn. God is as much at work in their world as He is in mine.
- Do what I can when I can because I still can. Pursuing beauty will mean moving my planted posterior: maybe turning over the ice burned soil in the flower box – hopefully nudging the winter pansies and kale awake. What colors could come! Or, keeping a watch on the geranium cutting’s progress – rejoicing it is in fact progressing! Such fragile, silky roots may grow a sturdy plant.
- Put the troubles and pain in the Hands of God, believing if He needs my opinion, He’ll ask. Out of furnaces of affliction treasures can still come.
A clay pot sitting in the sun will always be a clay pot. It has to go through the white heat of the furnace to become porcelain.– Mildred W. Struven
So, here’s hoping I remember all my good intentions no matter tomorrow’s news. I hope I shoulder my responsibility to see beauty in all God’s creation, and His creatures – especially the ones created in His image.God willing, I will breathe, see, listen, and do.
Oh, yes: and check my pulse.
Beauty is to the soul as food is to the body. It fills a need in us that nothing else can fill. — Frederick Buechner