Beauty Can Change the World
I was sitting with a good friend of mine recently, updating each other on our lives and discussing our dreams for the future and our latest hobbies and passions. I shared about my recently rediscovered love of writing and she described her passion for painting. In the midst of our laughter, fun and heartfelt sharing, she looked at me and said what is probably one of the more profound things I have heard in a while. She said, “You know Maria, beauty will change the world!” It got me thinking, and you know what? I think she’s exactly right!
We live in a crazy world! A fast-paced, busy and incredibly loud world. It is so easy to go through each day and never really pause to appreciate the world around us. But what if we did? What if we stopped to notice the beautiful sunsets that are painted across the sky or to hear just how wonderful the sound oflaughter can be? What if we took the time to appreciate the beauty of relationships, to recognize truly what a gift it is to have friends and family? What if we stopped to notice beauty?
I believe it would change us. It would change the way we look at our lives and approach our relationships. Just as you cannot sit in the sun for a prolonged period of time without being burned, you cannot sit and acknowledge the presence of something truly beautiful and not be moved! There’s a reason that words like “breathtaking” are used to describe beautiful things, because beauty is meant to stir something within us. And perhaps, if we pause to acknowledge the beautiful sunset or be moved by another’s heartfelt and joyous laugh, we will begin to see and know the Hand that painted those smooth colors across the sky. Each beautiful scene or breathtaking moment is not simply an expression of His love (though it is indeed that) it is a glimpse of Him who is beauty incarnate, beauty Himself. Each expression of beauty is a moment of encounter, an opportunity to be drawn into the presence of God. There is nothing more worthy of pausing our busy, loud lives, if only second. It is worth taking time to notice.
Yes, I think my friend is exactly right. If we allow it to, beauty will inevitably and undeniably change our hearts and changed hearts will change the whole world.
Maria is a sixth grade teacher in Columbus, Ohio. She grew up in a wonderful, faith-filled family and spent her college years living, growing and serving in a campus ministry organization called St. Paul's Outreach. It was in these years that she developed a passion for building community and bringing women freedom through powerful sisterhood. Maria enjoys being outdoors, is a frequent visitor to all of her city's metro parks and coffee shops, and loves anything that involves spending quality time with good friends, new friends and family.