Hi everyone. Rob here.
Winter isn’t over yet but last week a perfect daffodil appeared in our garden. Blossom has started to emerge on the trees near my children’s school. I took a Sabbath in the coastal town of Raglan yesterday and the ocean was a perfect blue, the hills a rich green with the sun warming my soul as I walked along a seemingly endless beach. Despite a broken world, families in deep grief and the profound struggle that life gives us all, beauty is relentless. It is everywhere and it restores us piece by piece as it unveils the glory of God and pours light into the darkness.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 tells us that God has placed eternity in our hearts. Our first home was an unblemished Eden. If you notice what happens to our bodies in deep grief compared to being in great beauty you begin to sense what we were made for. After experiencing a week of shared pain and an emotional funeral on Saturday, many of us in our community were just plain tired. Rest is very important in the grief process because your body needs restoration as much as your heart. But when you’re in beauty your body comes alive. You want to jump up and down or dance a jig or run with freedom and joy. Beauty energises and we are made for beauty.
That doesn’t always mean we are able to receive beauty. It’s hard to rejoice in a sunset when your heart’s just been shattered. It’s hard to notice a flower when you’re overwhelmed with busyness and pressure. But when you just want to sit with God and offer up your tender heart to him, beauty is the balm he offers you. It is the nectar that refreshes and renews your heart. In those moments, drink richly.
God’s gift of beauty is also personal. What stirs your heart is different to what stirs mine. I like open spaces. Some like the kiwi bush. I like mountains. Others prefer flowers. You get the picture. Part of getting to know our heart and care for our heart is to know what helps move our heart and pursue that. If it’s sunsets watch sunsets. if it’s flowers, grow flowers. If it’s wild spaces, then take a road trip to those spaces.
Beauty is everywhere. It’s in the city, it’s in the country and it’s in the sky and in the soil. Don’t ignore it. Embrace it. Let it speak to you. Let God love you through it. Let it tend your heart and your soul. Let beauty speak to you of the reality of restoration. May it awaken the eternity set in your heart. May you remember the life that you are made for.
Grace and peace.