SummaryBeauty found: Amy Pawlusiak seeks to find the beauty around her, despite having a large family, in a crazy world and concludes that God has a simple answer.
I sat on a dock, while my son fished, the other morning.
It was on a lake by our house, and he went there with a group that goes once a month to fish with other boys, learn how to fish better, and have little competitions for who caught the biggest fish, etc.
While picking him up with my youngest son (my almost 3-year-old), the little guy decided he also wanted to fish (of course!).
So, my oldest son helped him cast out into the lake and tried to show him how to reel in the bait so a bass might want to go after it. They did this over and over again. I helped a bit, but mostly watched. They were beautiful. It helped that it was a beautiful morning, but mostly, it was the two of them, being brothers. One brother was being patient, while the other one was enjoying every minute “fishing” with glee.
Like most moms, my life is hectic. I rarely have time to think about the beauty around me. It’s there but who has time? It’s easy to miss. As the seasons change and the world changes around me, it’s hard not to notice the beauty of nature.
There’s more beauty than what we see, though. For example, I love things organized and clean, so I am constantly trying to make my home neat, so I can feel less stressed and make it more “beautiful.”
Is this true beauty, though? It can’t be, because if that’s all there is, then it’s gone in two minutes (in my home, at least). The world is falling apart all around me, and I can’t keep it in order. I pray for guidance… I want to know what true beauty is, according to God… because His eyes are always different from mine.
I Need Rest
There’s a song I love, called “Rest”, by Brandon Heath. It’s about the innkeeper who greets Mary and Joseph after their long journey and only has room in his stable. The song is about how he is so busy, with the inn being full and beds to make and things to do that, even though he’s been “waiting for the coming king”, he has “no time for precious things.” The end of the song goes like this:
“Tonight I can’t get any sleep! With those shepherds shouting in the streets. A star is shining much too bright, and somewhere I hear a baby cry, and all I want is a little sleep.”
The innkeeper is so busy, he misses it. He fails to see the birth of the savior he says he’s been waiting for. The beauty is right in front of him, and it’s lost on him, because he can’t get past what he has to do. I’d like to say I am different, but that’s exactly how I am most days. I need to learn how to stop and see, really see, how God sees things.
As humans, we demand to see beauty more than anything, since we live in such a broken world.
We instinctively know we can’t survive if we can’t perceive what really matters, and what is beautiful to God, especially since everything else tries to get in the way.
I turn to the saints to help me understand God’s vision better. I need comfort here, because I live in a materialistic world that constantly plies me with visions of how beautiful and perfect my life “should” be or “could” be. Even though I barely watch television, somehow, these messages get through. It creates in me a false desire for things over people. St. Augustine of Hippo says:
“And men go abroad to admire the heights of mountains, the mighty waves of the sea, the broad tides of rivers,
the compass of the ocean, and the circuits of the stars, yet pass over the mystery of themselves without a thought.”
― Augustine of Hippo, Confessions
I recognize that only a God, who created us and loves us beyond all comprehension, can solve the “mystery of oneself.” This reminds me of a time I was in prayer, and God showed me sitting in a little boat on top of the ocean in a storm with waves all about me.
Then, He showed me what was beneath the ocean. The whales, sharks, numerous fish, and living things swimming along, untouched, and overlooked. The depth of what I cannot see is often overshadowed by what I can see. I realized that I am like a little ocean.
What people see is on the surface, and then there’s the depth of me, where only God can see. Further, I realize every person I meet, my family, friends, or the cashier at the store, are all little oceans too. I can’t see their depths. I only see the surfaces they allow me to see.
How much beauty is there, I cannot fathom; like the ocean, I cannot see everything below. I want to, though! I just need to duck my head down, look into someone’s eyes, and know God is within them, and they are beautiful.
Beauty, as God Sees It
Sometimes, I fix up old furniture for my home I find at garage sales, so it’s a fun hobby for me (when I have time). I love to see the beauty in old things made new. Yet, no matter what, I realize none of those “things” will last. I only have to look around my house to see the different things that must be cleaned, replaced, or fixed. I can’t keep on top of it all.
In my desire to keep the outer world “beautiful,” I find I’m more like the innkeeper, running around trying to do everything. But the more I focus on those things, the more I’m probably missing the beauty all around me, just like he did.
My dad (who loves it when I include him in my articles) recently told me that, at his age, he has the means to buy anything he wants, but all he wants is to be around the people he loves and cares about. I think he has figured out what true beauty is. It’s our kids sitting at the table, eating together, learning together, and being beautiful together.
It’s all the people in our lives, who make each day meaningful and wonderful, just because we get to be together and have a laugh or share our struggles. Jesus was born “poor,” but with Mary and Joseph as parents, he was given everything beautiful and important.
Beauty is us, because God thinks we’re the most beautiful creatures He ever made.