“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within.” – Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
I have been pondering the definition and the nature of beauty, and came upon the above quotation. One of the conclusions at which I have arrived is that there is absolutely nothing that cannot be beautiful. Beauty was the essence of God’s creation – and everything God has created, and continues to create, is beautiful – or at least holds within it the potential for beauty; however, the Light coexists with it. Aristotle said, “Beauty is the gift of God.” So too is Light. Beauty and Light go hand in hand with God, and I can think of no example in which they are not linked inextricably together in a tightly woven trinity.
Somewhat in contradiction to those thoughts, however, is the notion that perhaps there is one place where beauty cannot be. When God created the universe, and all that is within it, he gave to humanity a unique gift. That gift is the freedom to choose. Our Creator gave us freedom. We can choose with whom we wish to dwell, and who or what we wish to dwell within us. A wonderful pastor-teacher-friend of ours said, “The Holy Spirit is a Gentlemen. He does not enter where He is not invited.” Such politeness on God’s part seems bizarre at times. It is difficult to comprehend a creator who would not wish to have a copyright or patent on her creation, but essentially, God is like that. This particular gift came with a very high price tag. For God, not wishing to let any of us go, paid the price with the life of her Son Jesus Christ, so that all who believe in God – who invite Him in – might have within them the Beauty of the Light of God. The hearts and souls that choose to live without God’s invited presence, choose a life without true beauty. But that does not mean that we do not all live within the presence and reach of God. Because even as we mortals choose to whom we will issue our invitations, God from the very beginning made the choice to invite us. We can ignore God’s presence, but we cannot escape it. Emily Dickinson said, “Beauty is not caused. It is.”
“We can close our eyes to beauty, but beauty is everywhere. I like to think that the moon is there even if I am not looking at it.” – “He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.” -Albert Einstein is cited as the source of both of these quotes. He was a man of contradictions, as most of us are, and even as he seemed to distance himself from an acknowledgment of faith in any particular God, yet he always stood in awe of the created order of the
universe, and never ceased to marvel at its perfect beauty. It was a mystery to him that we would be allowed to probe the mysteries of or understand any of creation. He said, “The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is at all comprehensible.” I firmly believe that Einstein never closed his eyes to the God of Light and Beauty, and that through his inquisitive, exploring nature, he invited the Light of the Beauty of God to dwell within his heart, and came to know the Beauty of God’s Light.
It is incumbent upon us all to keep our eyes open to the Beauty that is everywhere. We may not be able to comprehend Beauty, but we can certainly behold it. Since I am so full of quotations in this post, I cannot leave out the most relevant, and it comes from the eloquent mind and mouth of Miss Piggy: “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye.”
My mind is still cluttered with these random thoughts about beauty. I need for you to help me by sharing some of your ideas, quotations, observations on this post, or on the definition and nature of beauty. Until next time, Gentle Reader, I wish you enough Light, enough Beauty, enough God –