God’s personality revealed by beauty

By  Emma Brown, Youth Speak News
  • February 8, 2013

Think of the most beautiful experiences in life. Holding a newborn baby. Feeling the waves of the ocean crash at your feet. Sunsets. Christmas morning. Cheeks that hurt from smiling. A first kiss.

These are the moments when we truly feel alive. These are the moments when we taste true joy, when we long for more.

And what exactly are we longing for? This longing, although elicited by the beauty of the world, is for something, or rather someone, beyond.

“Authentic beauty unlocks the yearning of the human heart, the profound desire to know, to love, to go towards the Other, to reach for the Beyond,” said Pope Benedict XVI.

Experiences of imperfect beauty on Earth whet the appetite of our hearts for the perfect and ultimate beauty: God.

St. Augustine wrote, “Question the beauty of the earth, question the beauty of the sea, question the beauty of the sky… All respond: ‘See, we are beautiful.’… Who made them if not the Beautiful One?”

Do we think of God as the “Beautiful One”? Or are we stuck in some two-dimensional vision of God as a big white-bearded man or a formless void? Beauty not only reveals a longing for God in us; it also shows us who God is.

“From the greatness and beauty of created things comes a corresponding perception of their Creator” (Wisdom 13:5).

The beauty of creation reveals God’s personality. God created waterfalls and the smell of baking cookies and the sound of laughter. These are not entirely distinct from Him; they are little pieces of His beauty.

The experience of beauty is the experience of God. When I feel a warm breeze caress my face, I know it is God’s gentle caress. When I reunite with an old friend, it is a foretaste of the joy of meeting Jesus in heaven. When I laugh so hard I no longer make a sound, the pure joy of experiencing God fills the silence.

Beauty makes God tangible. He is not some formless void way up there in the sky; He has a personality, He is beautiful.

Once we realize this, the world comes alive. Beauty is not just some nice, heartwarming thing; it is the revelation of a Divine Person, who loves us desperately. God pursues us through the everyday experiences of beauty. He has put His life, His personality and His beauty on display for us in the intricacies of the universe. He has placed the desire for Him in the chasms of our hearts.

Fall in love with God. He is beautiful. He created roses and music and smiles simply because He loves you and He wants you to be utterly captivated by Him. Let yourself be. It isn’t hard.

(Brown, 19, is a second-year journalism student at Carleton University.)

 

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