As I have sought to make beauty a vital aspect of my life—searching for beauty, creating beauty, enjoying beauty, desiring beauty—I have found that it is very easy for me to lose track of the heart behind beauty. I start to focus only on the tangible, visible aspects and, suddenly, it seems, I have wandered into superficiality and lost sight of the unseen kingdom.
I’m not always certain where I got off track, I just know I am focused on too small a fragment.
Usually, my attention is riveted on something right in front of me—a circumstance, a relationship, a project. It can be, and usually is, something good, something desirable and outwardly attractive. But I am off track nonetheless, because I am only looking at the immediate, material world, and in doing so, I have forgotten about God, the source and end of all true beauty.
This has been our problem from the beginning. Eve saw only the good, pleasing and desirable fruit, and missed the dark heart of the serpent who pointed her in that direction. Neither she nor Adam remembered the bright heart of God and all the beauty He had already lavished on them, or all the beauty yet in store; they only wanted to feed their flesh with this one immediate beauty. Their narrow vision had broad consequences.
True beauty comes from the unseen kingdom of the heart and flows through the physical realm.
It does not start in, nor end in the physical, but that’s where we experience it. Yet the beauty of all we perceive via our senses is still and ever connected to the invisible, spiritual world, and much as we might like to, as often as we try to, we cannot separate them completely. They are entwined with and affected by each other.
When we narrow our field of vision and ignore the unseen, when we forget about God, we are always the lesser for it.