I have been dusting off the covers of old religious books, many of which are underlined and marked by the pen of my husband’s great-grandfather. Education, a small volume by Ellen White, has proved to be a good companion to the reading I have been doing already in Charlotte Mason’s Ourselves. I’ve been surprised by how well they compliment one another, actually, as if one enlightens the other, and the other softens and expounds the one. The ‘one’ being Education and the ‘other’ being Ourselves.
My take-away this evening is in this tiny thought:
“The Author of all beauty, Himself a lover of the beautiful, God provided to gratify in His children the love of beauty…” (from Education)
An awkwardly worded half-sentence, yes, but it has stayed with me, the way truth does when it puts to words something we suddenly feel we have always known. God created the beautiful. God loves the beautiful. God formed in us souls that hunger after beauty, and God has made ample beauty to match our needs and desires.
I think of this as I stand in my kitchen watching the light play on flower-filled mason jars. I think of it as I notice purple flowers beating the odds in the freeway-bordered gravel pit that makes for our unsightly yard. I think of it as I say, running, to my eldest son, “There is always beauty. Even in China, in the smog-blanketed city, where the sky was always red and one could never see the sun, there were birds. I used to stare at them in thankfulness, and I would cry.”
There is always beauty, somewhere, on which to fix our eye. There is always beauty, someplace, in which to quiet our heart.
God, Himself a lover of the beautiful, provides.