May 7, 2013

Beauty will Save the World

We spent Sunday evening at Life Teen kneeling in the presence of the Lord, and the night went back and forth between listening to the youth minister speak and spending time in prayer, reflection, worship, and adoration.   

"Beauty will save the world."  

That was the theme of his talk for the evening.  It took me a second to fully comprehend the depth and the truth of that statement, but once I got it, it really made sense.  

First, we have to recognize the inherent beauty that is present within us.  There were billions and billions of people that God could have chosen to make, but God chose you. He saw the possibilities and the potential of your life, and he picked you out of so many. You are so beautiful and so precious to him.  So much more beautiful than you can even begin to comprehend.  Not in the sense of society's standards of beauty, but in the sense that you are so unique and so wonderful that God decided it was worth creating you and bringing you into this world.  You are worth so much in His eyes, and there is no one who could ever take your place.  

As Psalm 139: 13-16 says:
"You formed me in my inmost being;
you knit me in my mother's womb.
I praise you, so wonderfully you made me;
wonderful are your works! 
My very self you knew;
my bones were not hidden from you,
When I was being made in secret, 
fashioned as in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes foresaw my actions;
in your book all are written down;
my days were shaped, before one came to be.

St. Augustine said:
"God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.

Once we really let it sink in just how beautiful precious we are to God, we can start looking for the beauty inherent in those around us.  That person at work or at school who drives you crazy, the person who cuts you off in the road, the rude clerk at the grocery store - yep, God made them and he loves them more than anything in the world, just like he loves you more than anything in the world.  

By now you're probably wondering, how exactly will beauty save the world? 

Well, what if you stopped beating yourself up over the things you think are so bad about yourself?  What if you stopped thinking about your past, your weaknesses, and how you measure up to others?  What if you began to look for the good that God always sees when he looks at you?  What if you saw how much you are worth to him?  How much potential would you have to make an impact this world? How would that change your day to day life?

And how different would the world be if you saw the inherent beauty present in every single person you came in contact with?  What if you looked for what God sees in them? What if you recognized the beauty and the positive things in them rather than picking out the bad things or the irritating?

What can we do to help with the process of beauty saving the world?  Live out our lives filled with the joy that comes from our faith in God.  Share our faith and how it has positively impacted us.  Recognize the beauty in ourselves and live in awe of God's love for us.  Recognize the beauty in those around us. 

How many people join the church because someone had a condemning attitude towards their lifestyle?  Because someone angrily argued their view point?  I'd be willing to bet not many, if any.  Yet, how many people have developed a relationship with God because they have seen the beauty of faith played out in the lives of others?  Because they have seen others being true witnesses to the love God has for us.  Because they have been loved. 

We must help those around us see the beauty of faith, 

the beauty of marriage and family,

and the beauty of life. 

Only when people recognize the beauty of God and his teachings will hearts be changed.  Only through really living out our faith will people be brought closer to Christ. 

We are called to love:

"I give you a new commandment, love one another.  As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
- John 13:34-25

"So, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in him, rooted in him and built upon him and established in the faith you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving."
- Colossians 2:6-7

"Beloved, if God so loved us, we also must love one another.  No one has ever seen God.  Yet, if we love one another, God remains in us, and his love is brought to perfection in us." 
- 1 John 4: 11-12

Love is beautiful, and if we live out our lives with love, it has the power to save the world.  

Our youth minister told us to pray this simple prayer: 

"Lord, I want to see." 

This was prayed by the blind man in Mark 10:51, and God immediately gave him sight.  In the same way, if we pray for it, God will open our eyes to see the beauty in ourselves, the beauty in those around us, and what exactly he wants us to do to help spread his love.  

4 comments:

  1. That's one of my favorite quotes! It's from a Dostoyevsky novel, I think. I love your take on it, especially the starting point of recognizing it in yourself!

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  2. lovely reflection, Caitlin...

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  3. This is one of my favorite posts ever!! :) You are so right - we bring Christ to others by being Him to others- joy-filled people are attractive to others because everyone wants joy!

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