Beauty is Central, not Frivolous

Is beauty important to God? Should it be important to us?

Obviously, I believe it is, or I wouldn’t have created this blog to dig into it and share it with you. How did I come to this conclusion?

The title of Creator has been a favorite way for me to describe God for as long as I can remember. When I was in grade school, my parents hosted a Bible study—we called it a “home group”—in our house every Friday night. One week, as a way of personalizing our worship of God, we each wrote new words to a then-popular chorus, Jesus, Name Above All Names. Each line of the song was simply a list of titles of God. We were to replace the original words with names or descriptions of God that we used and loved. The first line of my version was “Creator of the heavens.”

There is something wonderful about looking at the night sky and knowing that God not only created every star in every galaxy, He gave a name to each one as well. God’s creativity is both incredible and readily evident to me. When I look at everything God designed, I know that beauty is important to Him. 

God did not have to give us beauty, but He did. He did not have to make beauty so abundant, but He did. He did not have to create an amazing universe for us to discover—worlds to intrigue us, both vast and minute—but He did. There is beauty in the expanse of the cosmos and beauty in the microscopic world. And in between, where we live, there is an extraordinary extravagance of beauty.

Consider flowers for a moment—just flowers. How many kinds of flowers are there in the world? How many types of petals, sizes, colors, where do they grow, how tall are they, how many petals do they have, are they on trees or bushes or single stems…? 

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How many flowers do you suppose are blooming on earth right now? How many will be seen by someone? What about all those flowers high up in the mountains, out in the middle of the desert or deep in the forest hidden from our eyes? What about all those flowers that bloom in the cracks of sidewalks, in the ditches beside roads or in abandoned towns? 

Why would God design all the lovely flowers on earth if He didn’t value and enjoy beauty? We perceive flowers asbeautiful, yet bees and butterflies perceive flowers with a different spectrum of light; they do not see the same flower that we see. Flowers would function well for bees and butterflies without looking pretty for us. Flowers alone could convince me that God loves beauty and wants to share it with us. 

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When we see beauty how do we react? With a gasp, with an intake of breath. Wow. Oh. Look at this—we want to tell another, to share. Beauty evokes awe in our hearts. Beauty awakens longings, and reminds us there is more to life than what we see, more even than the beauty before us. Beauty makes us think of goodness and truth and love. Which is to say, it calls to mind God Himself.

Beauty is God’s calling card to us, and His invitation to enter into a relationship with Him.

What beauty do you love in this world?

Do you hear God inviting you to Himself through that beauty?