Saturday, 10 September 2011


Have you ever thought about what we mean when we use the word beauty, or beautiful? What do you mean when you use the word? Without doubt we all mean something slightly different by the word. But at least to some degree we have similar understandings enough for communication to take place. But then we have the phrase, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder." So there will always be disagreement on what is beautiful.

I tell my girlfriend she is beautiful. But is that something local to my existence, or can beauty ever be something broader than what is in the eye of the beholder? defines beauty as, "the quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arising from sensory manifestations (as shape, color, sound, etc.), a meaningful design or pattern, or something else (as a personality in which high spiritual qualities are manifest)." I happen to like this definition. With this definition we can understand why some people will find some music beautiful and others would not. There are qualities in everything. Understandably there would be some people that find certain qualities in something pleasing and other qualities displeasing. Its a bit of a ranking system. Sometimes the displeasing qualities override any possible good qualities and the person considers something or someone ugly. On the other hand sometimes people will overlook bad qualities as insignificant if the person or object contains a good quality they esteem very highly. But this still only deals with the individual perspective. Could there be any universal sense of beauty?

The second part of the definition talks about a meaningful design or pattern. I believe in a design and therefore a designer. This brings another aspect of beauty into play. Everything has some inherent beauty in it, though very marred at times, based on its nature as being designed. The beauty inherent in the creator is given to the creation. We were created for a purpose, and the better in line with that purpose we live the more beautiful I believe we become. Which brings me back to Brenda. I find her to be the most beautiful woman I've ever seen. The reason is I can see Christ through her more clearly than I could in anyone else before. Part of that is how I'm getting to know her more closely than any other person. I find her beautiful for many reasons (character, love, appearance, joy, skills, etc.). I don't think anyone else would necessarily agree with me on how beautiful she is, except for possibly her parents and I definitely don't think she's as beautiful yet as God thinks she is. I'll have to come more in line with His perspective with time. But it is because of Him that I am learning to love her in the first place. It is His hand imprinted on her soul that I find so beautiful and I'll be trying to follow His lead on this one.

For His Glorious Name,

1 comment:

  1. 1 Peter 3:4 "let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God."