Remember last semester when I saw beauty in the things around me? For a glorious while, the God-given beauty in the people, places, words around me so grabbed my attention that everywhere I turned, I was assailed with shocking, stunning, breath-taking beauty.
My surroundings had not become suddenly more beautiful, but God had opened my eyes to see what had always been there and I reveled in the glory of the beautiful little things.
Then, late one Saturday night, all that searching, watching, seeing became too much and exhaustion hit me. Hard. I was tired of thinking, tired of being, tired of straining my eyes to see little things, to see the shreds of beauty that shroud the world I live in.
So I stopped looking. My hunt for beauty, my striving to keep my eyes open to the little bits of beautiful that so often go unnoticed, faded to the background. As the semester drew to a close and I progressed steadily and rapidly towards finals week, towards winter break, towards Mexico, I let beauty slip from view and became out of necessity wrapped up in the mundane. In the go to this class, in the give this presentation, in the pack this suitcase, in the love this child, in the spend time with these precious souls.
I lived life and I loved life, and I saw God and His providence pouring out of my life.
But I didn’t see the beauty.
Little tiny things, wordless indications of the glory of our Creator no longer caused me to suck in my breath in wonder.
A word, a sound, a look, a motion no longer captivated me.
The beauty was still just as present as it had been, I just didn’t see it.
I had just dined, and was making my way slowly through the tunnel system that connects almost every building at Moody. The dinner rush had ended, and most people were either still in the dining room finishing up, or had since moved onto their next task, next goal, next assignment.
The tunnels were peaceful, the quiet only broken by the occasional voice echoing softly down the hall, and the scuffling of shoes on the linoleum floor.
My efficient pace soon caught me up to a pair of girls pacing steadily back to the dorms. Not wanting to pass them, I slowed my pace and fell in step behind the two. As my steps slowed, I could feel my heart and mind slowing too, settling into the rhythmic beat of an even pace.
I studied the girls in front of me, recognizing them by their hair styles and dress. They each had an arm around each other; long, slender arms resting on the other’s waist. I watched one of them swing her lanyard with her outside hand, while the other gripped her backpack naturally and nonchalantly. They chattered back and forth easily, gently, their voices lilting up and down in a peaceful lull.
I was studying them absently when it hit me: this is beauty.
The familiarity, gentleness, ease between the two women. Their gentle bantering. Their arm wrapped lightly around the other. Side by side, they seemed to support each other, hold each other up, face life together.
As the beauty of the snippet of their friendship that I beheld sunk into my heart, I felt a little thrill. A thrill because God is the God of things little and big, of things beautiful from the start and things that grow in beauty as time goes on. He created beauty and He is beauty, and on Monday night, He opened my eyes to see beauty once more.
And I’m grateful.