LeAnne Martin
Beauty and the Beholder

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Ancient Ones

Ancient redwood trees, stately, majestic. So tall you can’t see the top, only branches and leaves against the sky. So large that if you try to wrap your arms around it, you feel like a toddler hugging a football player. Reddish brown bark sometimes twisted with age and weather. Hollowed-out bases big enough to stand up in, wide enough to camp in. Many redwoods have humps that look like swollen, knobby joints. Surrounded by their children and grandchildren at their feet. Some of these massive trunks have rings that trace back to the time of Christ. The time of Christ!

Their Creator and ours.

We visited the Redwood Grove at Henry Cowell State Park in Santa Cruz, California. We plan to return.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Irresistible Beauty

It’s Holy Week, and my thoughts are turned toward Christ. John Piper, pastor and author, recently wrote an article on the irresistible beauty of Christ. I thought you might enjoy reading “The Unbelieving Poet Catches a Glimpse of Truth."

This week, as we remember the crucifixion and celebrate the resurrection, look for glimpses of the beauty of Christ and then let me know what you find. I'd love to hear about it.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A Beautiful Day

Today is my anniversary. Our wedding was the most beautiful day of my life, filled with beauty and the arts. For example, all of the printed pieces—the Save the Date, the invitation, the program, even the thank you note--were commissions from some of our favorite artists. The location was a theater that’s very special to us: the Balzer Theater at Herren’s in downtown Atlanta. The set for the show that was running at the time, Tennessee Williams’ Summer and Smoke, included a courtyard with a fountain and an angel statue that had “Eternity” etched into its base. Perfect for a wedding. We used some of our favorite classical music, with Edward Elgar’s Enigma as the processional. Actor friends, including Nigel Goodwin and Tom Key, both of whom have been featured on my arts blog, read selections from C. S. Lewis, 1 Corinthians 13 from The Message, and a long list of our favorite scriptures. Other friends performed hymns and songs of worship especially meaningful to us.

My groom and I did special readings that we'd written to each other, which we glued inside a handmade book by a paper artist. After our vows and a special prayer of dedication, the pastor presented us to our family and friends. They began clapping and, when the beginning strains of the “Hallelujah Chorus” could be heard over the noise, they rose to their feet and applauded wildly as we, laughing, left the theater.

The most beautiful thing about our wedding was the gratitude and joy we felt that, after a long, difficult road for each of us, God had brought us together. Like we did then, this week we celebrate Him and each other. We look forward to many more years together as we live lives filled with love for the Lord, each other, and our daughter. And beauty and the arts.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Beauty Balm

“Pain passes but beauty remains.” Renoir

Years ago, during a time of grief and loss, I found beauty to be like a balm for me. It helped soothe the pain I felt. I looked for beauty wherever I could—and found it. One thing stands out in my mind, though.

It was springtime, my first in my new place. When signs of life began appearing in my yard, I noticed my neighbor’s crabapple tree next to the fence. I hadn’t really seen it before but now it grabbed my attention, so beautiful with the full pink blossoms that covered it. I could see the tree from my kitchen window and from the front and back of the house. I could even see it when I pulled into the driveway. From all of these vantage points, I spent a lot of time gazing at it, drinking in its beauty and thinking about what I had been through. I felt as if God, through the beauty of that crabapple tree, reminded me of the hope I had in Him. He seemed to whisper, “Your long winter is over. Spring is here at last.”

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