Bernie Anderson
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the blog

Current musings, whatever they may be. 

Sunday Sermonizing: Surprising Beauty

We are privileged with beauty.

Sometimes beauty is obvious. It’s right in front of us. Sunsets and sunrises. Forests. Lakes. Oceans. Planets and stars.

Paintings. Literature. Music. Poetry.

This is the sort of beauty we can see. We can taste. We can touch.

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But sometimes beauty comes from the most unexpected places. In a meeting with a friend. Or with an enemy. Death. Resurrection. Pain.

We experienced beauty while traveling through Southeast Asia. But it wasn’t always beauty by the eye’s standards. The heat and sweat and traffic and urban development are full of surprising beauty in the middle of decay and chaos.

Families. Hopes. Dreams. Friends.

Look for beauty.

Look for it in unexpected places.

You’ll be surprised at what you find.

BEAUTY IS TO THE SPIRIT what food is to the flesh. A glimpse of it in a young face, say, or an echo of it in a song fills an emptiness in you that nothing else under the sun can. Unlike food, however, it is something you never get your fill of. It leaves you always aching with longing not so much for more of the same as for whatever it is, deep within and far beyond both it and yourself, that makes it beautiful.

"The beauty of holiness" is how the Psalms name it (29:2), and "As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee" (42:1) is the way they describe the ache and the longing.

Frederick Buechner.