KIERKEGAARD WROTE that, “Christianity does not at all emphasize the idea of earthly beauty …” When I read this statement, I was at first left to wonder how such a brilliant mind could write something so off target. He had to be wrong. I began to read once again through the Bible, particularly the Psalms, looking to prove Kierkegaard’s error. Eventually I had to close my eyes and think for awhile. Slowly I began to grasp Kierkegaard’s words. King David was aware of the beauty of nature around him, yet creation always uplifted his heart. The beauty around him called him into a deeper awareness of God, awakening his awe of the One who creates. When I consider the work of your fingers leads David into, O Lord our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth. Romans 1:18-20 picks up on this theme, emphasizing that when we consider God’s art, we are invited to be enraptured by his invisible qualities, his unending power and his divine nature.
ISN’T ALL ART a metaphor reflecting the inside world of the artist? When we listen to a song, we catch a glimpse of the heart of the person who composed it. As we look carefully at a painting, we get a chance to look through the eyes of the painter. I recall sitting on the grass watching A Midsummer Night’s Dream performed in a public park. The entire crowd was carried away together. We wondered, imagined and laughed out loud together before the dazzling display of humor, fun, mystery and frivolity. Yet the whole experience meant so much more than what we saw and heard that night. Even as we climbed into our cars and drove home, brushed our teeth and fell into bed, we continued to be startled that behind this awesome work of art, a poet named William Shakespeare hovered over a blank piece of paper with a pen in his hand and created that world. The purpose of all beauty is to illuminate the glory of its Creator. Beauty is meant to draw our hearts toward its matrix; or Source.
INTEGRAL TO THE CHRISTIAN WORLDVIEW is the celebration of beauty. The awakening into beauty is a call to worship. We search for beauty in the mountains, in the sea, in the contrasting hues of darkened skies before the coming storm. The Spirit of God beckons us to see the beauty in people’s eyes, in the glow of dawn. Beauty is buried in the human heart. It is found in a gracious word, a newly penned song, an act of courage, the aroma of a lovingly prepared meal. Because God is the source of all beauty, all beauty leads us to a deeper awareness of God.