Beauty will save the world. – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Indeed, beauty is a powerful thing. It stirs us. Calls something out in us. Something deep and true that breaks through the fog of everyday living. It has been said that beauty has the power to elevate even the most mundane things.
Rick and I got a taste of that this morning. We were downtown Kent for a breakfast date. It was early and the usually bustling streets were quiet save the men out watering the lamppost hanging baskets and a few groggy students coming to study at the local coffee shop.
So, in the stillness of those early hours, we decided to take a walk through town.
When we saw the first vase, we both stopped to comment, noting that it was a thoughtful thing for someone to do. I mean, who takes the time to leave fresh flowers next to a corner bench?
But, as we rounded the corner we saw more… sweet paper-wrapped bundles of flowers that had been intentionally left in shop doorways or near benches. Bundles and vases every few yards. Many of them had encouraging hand-written notes attached. And, it went on for blocks. It became like a treasure hunt for us as we looked for them all along Main Street and Water Street.
At one point, a smiling shop owner came out to retrieve a vase full of flowers from her stoop. I asked her about it and she said she’d never seen anything like it. What started as a routine for her to come in and open the store, had become an inspiration. Overcome by the gesture, she couldn’t wipe the grin away.
Beauty. Invading the mundane.
I realize that some of you might be thinking, “So what?” After all it’s just a few bouquets of flowers left along the sidewalk. That money probably could have been spent on something more practical. Like buying canned goods for the local food pantry.
True. And, yet, I think beauty has its own value. Because it points us to something bigger. SomeONE bigger.
In her book Captivating, Staci Eldredge says that beauty has purpose. “Beauty beckons us,” Eldredge writes. “Beauty invites us. Come, explore, immerse yourself. God – who is Beauty Himself – invites us to know Him. Taste and see that the LORD is good (Psalm 34:8).”
Ahhhh, yes. Those flowers are pointers. Pointers to a God who is the Master Artist. I don’t know if the person who left them even knows Him. But, as an image-bearer of the One who made her/him, that person was reminding us that the LORD is good. That He makes beautiful things. That He Himself is beautiful. And, that a day is coming when His beauty will fill the earth once again and we won’t need reminded. Because the beauty will be ever-visible.
So, dear friend, let me ask you: How are you doing at recognizing the pointers? Are you taking the time to see beauty? And what about leaving pointers as you go about life? How are you leaving beauty imprints on the world around you?
Indeed, beauty WILL save the world.
Grace and peace,