Thursday, April 7, 2011

Times When Beauty Is Enough.

The world outside has turned dark. The street lamps up and down South Baldwin Drive are now on. They are lighting up the blossoms on the ornamental pear trees up and down the street. I began this day sitting at my desk working in my home office. The pink light of the morning sun was working its way through the trees that stand on the ridge above the creek just a hundred yards or so south of us. The blossoms on the trees surprised me. It was as if someone had, over night, painstakingly placed every blossom in the perfect spot.

This morning I wrote an email devotional that talked about the importance of bearing fruit. These ornamental pear trees, if they are anything like the tree that stood outside the office at Elkhart Trinity, won't produce any kind of usable fruit. They'll scatter blossoms in the Spring, drop small, cherry-like fruit in late Summer, and distribute tiny leaves in the Fall. But they won't produce any kind of usable fruit.

Maybe my article that focused on the importance of bearing fruit, making a difference for God with our lives, told only part of the story. Maybe it is enough, sometimes, to produce beauty. In a world where there is too much ugliness and too little beauty, perhaps creating beauty is enough. The musical group the Cowboy Junkies produced an amazing song in "Blue Moon." If they never accomplish another thing in their lives maybe producing something so beautiful is enough. I've walked through the Art Institute in Chicago and studied the work of Monet. He has a way of capturing the light in every moment. I don't know a thing about the artist's life but maybe with God it is enough that Monet created beauty.

The Bible teaches us that God is a God of justice. And a God of compassion. And a God of extravagance. And a God of second chances...grace. The Bible also tells us God is a God who delights in, creates, beauty. In Psalm 8 the psalmist writes: "When I look at the heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars which thou hast made..."

Maybe beauty is more important than we think in our society that is so focused on utility and production. The blossoms won't last long. But today they have captured me...stopped me in my tracks...and caused me to offer up a Doxology. That is, I suspect, no small miracle.


Catherine said...

It is a gift and a blessing in the midst of crazy schedules to still have the ability to see beauty in small buds and tender leaves. Thanks for the reminder. I have a bush by the bird feeder in front of my home office window which is trying to bloom. The birds remind me that I am loved because if God takes care of the birds, He will take care of me. Thanks for being a poet. said...

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