We should never mistake glamor for beauty. All that glitters is not gold. Some of the most beautiful moments in life can be the most difficult to look at. Think of the messiness of birth… the broken water, the blood, the crying, the after-birth, but all is forgotten once the newborn baby is in your arms. As tears well up in your eyes and you see the face of your child first time, you have looked at a matchless beauty that is both very present and one that comes from eternity. I believe that Beauty is very much tied into the notion that when we see Beauty, we see the face of God for a few fleeting moments. If you can look into the eyes of a drunk on the side of the road with this in mind, you may be able to see beyond the skin and into his soul… into eternity. There is a deeper connection that we have with all of humanity that present within all of us. Jesus asked us to see him in those who are least amongst us. We are to look at people and even some situations, not how they are, but how they could be.
I am always on the lookout for the Beautiful. I can sometimes be very distracted by it as well – It might be a simple brushstroke on a fine Monet painting, or the indention of fingers into the nude form of a woman on a marble Bernini sculpture, or even the simple swaying of 30 foot long strands of ivy along the wall of the freeway, moving with the wind of passing traffic – until the traffic suddenly stalls in front of me, and I smash into the BMW that has stopped in traffic Luckily for me, the dark, thick amber liquid I could see pouring down her windshield was not blood from her head as I feared, it was her caramel latte. I thought of sending her a $20 Starbucks card, but decided it would be in best to leave it alone and let the insurance companies work out the details. After that, I realized how simple it is to get really hurt out there, so I promised myself to get a life insurance quote when I got home.
Beauty can be found in the oddest places. If you have seen the movie American Beauty, you may remember the scene where the girl-next-door is warming up to the voyeuristic tendencies of the boy neighbor-next-door. As they are looking at each other through second-floor bedroom windows, she begins to remove her shirt, as he films her on his hand-held video camera. As she proceeds to take of her bra, the viewer can see what he sees in the viewfinder of the camera… a close-up of her face. He was much more interested in the subtle nuances of her face, and her welcoming smile as she disrobed for him, than getting a shot of her boobs, which is what she (and I) was expecting.
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