LeAnne Martin
Beauty and the Beholder

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Seeking Beauty

Years ago, as I struggled through an extremely painful time of my life, I began to seek out beauty whenever I could. I couldn’t articulate it then, but on some level I realized that beauty brought me comfort and drew me closer to God. So, sometimes alone, sometimes with friends, I went to the museum, the theater, and the symphony. I browsed antique stores, gift shops, and arts’ festival booths. I listened to music that touched my soul and made my spirit dance. I reveled in the arrival of spring after a long, dark winter. And, as I watched my energetic toddler grow into a preschooler full of exuberance and dimply smiles, I marveled at the beauty of the creation of man.

I also discovered anew that the written word can carry inestimable beauty, particularly when it is scripture. Words I had read much of my life now became a precious treasure I held close to my heart: promises from the Lord, the lover of my soul. A phrase like “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God” (Psalm 42:1) paints a beautiful word picture of my dependence on God—a truth I began to understand more fully during that time in my life.

The classic works of great writers spoke to my heart as well. In the title sermon from The Weight of Glory, C. S. Lewis wrote, “We do not merely want to see beauty, though, God knows, even that is bounty enough. We want something else which can hardly be put into words—to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it.” His words helped me to understand my own desire for beauty as well as to articulate my experience.

This blog is one avenue I’m using to articulate what I believe is everyone’s desire for beauty. If you have an experience with beauty that you’d like to share, I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment or email me at contact@leannebenfieldmartin.com.

An excerpt from my article that appeared in Indeed magazine, September/October 2006.


Sharon said...

How well I understand the need to seek out beauty when life is dark and foreboding.For me a trip to our Oregon coast is just the thing,or a drive in the Oregon countryside with my husband of 15 years.:-)Blessings~Sharon

LeAnne Benfield Martin said...

Thanks, Sharon. The Oregon coast is truly beautiful. I would do the same thing!



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