LeAnne Martin
Beauty and the Beholder

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Becoming Part of Beauty

“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.” C. S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory

Have you ever wanted to be united with beauty? I have felt that way watching a sunset on a summer night, riding on a train through the Swiss Alps, wandering through gardens in full and fragrant bloom, feeling the cool mist from a waterfall on my face, gazing at a painting that beckoned me to step into the canvas. Many times, I have wanted to bathe in beauty and become part of it.

This quote is one of my absolute favorites of C.S. Lewis. In fact Lewis' writing about beauty, as well as my own experiences, led me to write about it myself. 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.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Beauty Quotes


"Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything that is beautiful, for beauty is God's handwriting--a wayside sacrament. Welcome it in every fair face, in every fair sky, in every flower, and thank God for it as a cup of blessing." --Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Beauty of whatever kind, in its supreme development, invariably excites the sensitive soul to tears." -- Edgar Allen Poe

"Creativity is not restricted to the arts. Creativity is an approach to living life." --Alyce Cornyn-Selby

"If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in." --Rachel Carson

"There are two ways of being creative. One can sing and dance. Or one can create an environment in which singers and dancers flourish." -- Warren G. Bennis

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

This New Path

Last week I wrote about the gorgeous snowfall we had. This week we've had three or four days of spring-like temperatures. The blossoms on the cherry and pear trees are coming out. The dogwoods in the back yard are budding. Daffodils are popping up everywhere. I have a confirmed case of spring fever.

I remember a few years ago another spring-like day. This one was long-awaited, not because of the weather but because of the occasion. I wore a gorgeous long dress covered with pearls and carried beautiful flowers in purples and blues. My daughter looked like a tiny fairy princess in pink georgette, her small white basket of matching flowers trailing white ribbons. On my father's arm, I floated down the steps to a favorite selection from Edward Elgar's "Enigma." After kissing my parents and my daughter, I went to meet my groom at the front--not of a church but of a theater we both loved. I could not believe that it was actually happening, that God had brought me and this man together. The scripture that was read, the songs sung, the readings shared, were all intended to celebrate and worship God and His love for us as well as our love for each other. It was a beautiful day.

I write about my wedding every year on this or my other blog, Christians in the Arts, because it was art-filled and beauty-filled. And because my husband and I still are amazed and so grateful that we are walking this new path together.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


On Sunday morning, we were sitting in our worship service listening to one of our elders systemically and sensitively build a case for faith. He was talking about intelligent design and laying out, one by one, pieces of evidence for intelligent design, for a Creator. I heard someone murmuring behind us but didn't hear what he said. The friend sitting next to me leaned over and said, "It's snowing!" I looked through the huge window that runs the length of our church and there they were: big fluffy flakes falling quickly through the trees on that side of the building. It was a stunning sight.

My daughter would be so excited. I was excited! We don't get much snow in our area so when it's a possibility, I always hold my breath like a little kid, especially now that I'm a parent.

Turning my attention back to the message, I smiled when I realized the elder was talking about the cells in our bodies with their intricate DNA, the length of which blew my mind. God created even the tiniest parts of our bodies, the stars in our vast universe, and snowflakes, too, each one of which is said to be different from all the others. It was a God moment for me.

Later, in our hats and gloves and layers, my daughter and I romped in our front yard while my husband snapped some photos. Our dog was confused and uncertain about the white stuff on the ground, but my daughter was having a blast. She and I stayed out in the cold for as long as we could, hurling snowballs, packing a small snow mountain (our version of a snowman), writing our initials in undisturbed snow. She made a snow angel, too, and my husband took a picture. The shot reminds me of one I took during the snowfall in 2004. The snow angel she made was much smaller, and our snowman was a snow dwarf so tiny it didn't show up in the photo. The hat, coat, and gloves she wore were different then, too, but her smile was the same as on Sunday: wide, dimply, and carefree. It was a God moment. A Designer moment.

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