Such a gentle grace = beauty

By Dave Henning / August 6, 2020

“Beauty is such a gentle grace.  Like God, it rarely shouts, rarely intrudes.  Rather it woos, soothes, invites; it romances and caresses.  We often sigh in the presence of beauty as it begins to minister to us — a good, deep soul-sigh.”- John Eldredge

John Eldredge concludes Chapter 3 of Get Your Life Back as he observes that beauty also sings songs of abundance to us.  For example, on a visit to the Wind River Mountains, John drank in the evergreen forests on the mountain slopes.  The lush, well-watered forests signaled God’s abundance.

But most of all, the author underscores, beauty reassures.  Elaine Scarry writes in her book On Beauty and Being about the French impressionist Henri Matisse.  She states that Matisse “repeatedly said that he wanted to make paintings so serenely beautiful that when one came upon them, suddenly all problems would subside.”

In conclusion, John hopes you intentionally do two things to receive the healing effects of beauty.  Because beauty soothes the soul and opens us up to God’s goodness.

1.  Receive beauty for the gift it is!  Pause and let beauty minister to you.  Too often we just take notice and move on.  Instead, stop and drink in the beauty.  Because in such moments you open yourself up to receive the beauty, gift, and grace into your being.  Rather than bracing for the day ahead and the assault on your attention, open your clenched soul to let the beauty – and God – in.

2.  Fill your world with beauty.  One bleak winter when snow buried her garden, Elaine Scarry placed Matisse prints all over her walls – thirteen in a single room!  Hence, John exhorts you to find a way to fill your life with beauty:

“When we are harried, haunted, in fight or flight, beauty seems a luxury for people on vacation.  Just the opposite is true — it’s a lifeline being thrown to you from heaven.”

Today’s question: What beauty presents such a gentle grace to you?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Empathy and compassion require attentive mind”

About the author

Dave Henning

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