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Friday, March 16, 2007

Missional Beauty...

Emergent Self wrote a post recently about whether or not beauty is missional. When I read that post, my response was immediate and quite passionate... "of course it's missional!" And I immediately remembered a time in my life, a very quietly important time in my life where beauty was missional for me and it clearly made a difference...

At an extremely low point in my journey, sort of the point where I had just hit bottom and was coming to my senses enough to sit up and dust myself off and look around me at the pit I was in; I came across an art gallery on the Uof MN campus...

One of the artists had made a path in the middle of the gallery, completely out of things from nature. There were little stick "mile-markers" with leaf "flags" attached... I was curious about the piece so I went over and read the write up from the artist. And this is what the write up was: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones." (Proverbs 3:5-8)

And I was gripped, right then and there. I received the promises and I asked God to show me how to trust him and not lean on my understanding...

This was the hand of God reaching into the pit and giving me a "hold" and then (as I think about what has happened since) he patiently has kept his hand there as I have been climbing out of the pit... he is always present, always patient... like a parent's hand helping a toddler to walk...

After remembering this, I starting thinking of all the times when God has touched me and it has "turned" me (to me that is the definition of "missional": to cause to turn)... beauty was always involved.

I can not imagine experienceing God without beauty... I think it is as Emergent Self quoted Sr. Catherine Michaud, "Without beauty religion becomes moralistic, flat." That is how I have tasted it when God has been served up without beauty.

To me, beauty is the ultimate feminine expression of God... not being beautiful... but the way in which God offers his beauty -- constantly for any who may notice -- and his humility in offering without demanding breaks my heart.

1 Comments:

At 7:48 PM, Blogger sleeping with bread said...

. . . lean not . . . I have a friend who quotes this verse all of the time . . . I am sending her the link to this blog . . . :)

 

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