A staging point for something grander

By Dave Henning / September 19, 2022

Beauty feels like a staging point for something grander than feelings or my inner self or aesthetic pleasure.  Beauty moves me from my spot . . . and invites me to explore beyond those boundaries, out in the edge of life.”- Timothy D. Willard

Beauty is so quietly woven through our ordinary days that we hardly notice it.”- John O’ Donohue

In Chapter 2 (“Curiouser and Curiouser”) of The Beauty Chasers, Timothy D. Willard observes that personal or spiritual beauty found in the soul of a person isn’t the whole story.  Because we also experience beauty through four primary categories: nature, art, the human form, and the everyday charm of life.

Therefore, to reduce beauty to an over-spiritualized idea diminishes its potential to change us as it draws us closer to God.  However, the Hebrews never conceived of such a limited idea of beauty.  Because, in their world, they saw beauty as a given.  For the Hebrew related beauty to life with God and saw it reflected in His created order.  Thus, they viewed God and His qualities as imprinted everywhere they looked.

Consequently, it makes sense to the author to cast a broader net for beauty.  Furthermore, when the author slows down and attends to the weaving of beauty’s invitation to him, he likens the feeling to that of a newborn calf.  Kicking as he runs, Timothy feels at home in a world he doesn’t fully know.  Yet, he joyfully skips for the wonder of it all.

In conclusion, Timothy expands this thought:

“If we fail to open our eyes and hearts to beauty’s full significance in this world, we will rob ourselves of God’s voice in our lives.  Relegating beauty to the spirit of a person removes its profound touch with our daily experience; it quiets its voice so much that we will soon forget what the voice of beauty sounds like.”

Today’s question: Do you, like Timothy, see beauty as the staging point for something grander?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Broaden our view of beauty?”

About the author

Dave Henning

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