A renewable supply of beauty

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By Dave Henning / August 5, 2020

“God also filled the world with a renewable supply of something our souls need daily: beauty.  Yes, beauty.  The fact that our world is so saturated with beauty, breathtaking in so many ways great and small  — this ought to let you know God feels it’s something you need for your survival.  We are absolutely swimming in it.”- John Eldredge

In Chapter 3 (“Drinking Beauty”) of Get Your Life Back, John Eldredge talks about a scenic spot located in one of his favorite places on earth – Artist’s Point at Yellowstone.  Most significantly, back in 1871 Thomas Moran produced a gorgeous painting  of Artist’s Point after he came through with the Hayden expedition.  And that artwork helped convince Congress to make Yellowstone the first national park.

Artist’s Point looks us at the falls of the Yellow River as it plunges into the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.  Above all, thousands of cubic feet of water drop more than twice the height of Niagara Falls.

Hence, beauty comforts – and heals.  Also, John adds, beauty rescues.  Because beauty is inherently merciful and comforting, it heals, revives, and renews.  Harvard aesthetics professor Elaine Scarry writes about this in her book On Beauty and Being Just:

“The pleasure we take in beauty is inexhaustible.  No matter how long beautiful things endure, they cannot out-endure our longing for them.”

Furthermore, John asserts, beauty heals, in part, because beauty proclaims that goodness exists in the world.  In addition, the world’s beauty prevails or somehow outlasts all harm and darkness.

In conclusion, the author notes that beauty reassures:

“But most of all beauty reassures.  This is especially important to our search here for the grace beauty offers our life with God.  Beauty reassures us that goodness is still real in the world, more than harm or scarcity or evil.  Beauty reassures us of abundance, especially that God is abundant in goodness and in life.”

Today’s question: Where do you go to find a renewable supply of beauty for your soul?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Just a gentle grace = beauty”

About the author

Dave Henning

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