There is no standard for beauty. So much of it comes down to likes and dislikes, to aesthetics, and to things like fit or mood or tone or space. Yet the very fact that I can say to someone else “Look at that sunrise, isn’t it beautiful?” demonstrates that we all understand what beauty is, and though our variances in appreciation may differ (sometimes greatly) we all know for ourselves what things are beautiful and what things are not.
Our pleasures prove that beauty is not entirely subjective.
Any world in which there is music, sex, laughter, tears, mountains and rivers and sunsets –-with us smack in the middle of it all-– is a world where beauty is present in innumerable ways. As the people of God one significant task we have before us is to recognize this beauty.
We are called to draw attention to the pleasure God manifested by creating such wonders. We are meant to name these things, at least in partial defiance of all the ugliness that surrounds us in the world and is so obvious and easy to see.
Beauty is one of the primary ways God penetrates the armor of our indifference.
We grow deaf so quickly to teaching and sermonizing and authority; blind to example and skill in living; sometimes the only thing God has to work with in our stubbornness is the beauty around us. If He can get us simply to recognize something beautiful, then He has a portal through which He can speak to us all.
From Sleeping Beauty.
Dr. David McDonald is the teaching pastor at Westwinds Community Church in Jackson, MI. The church, widely considered among the most innovative in America, has been featured on CNN.com and in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and Time Magazine. David weaves deep theological truths with sharp social analysis and peculiar observations on pop culture. He lives in Jackson with his wife, Carmel, and their two kids. Follow him on twitter (@fossores) or online at fossores.com