This summer we were devastated, gutted by tragic news from our host country. I could feel hopelessness starting to envelop me. For the first time I got what it must feel to believe God is truly gone, that he is absent. It seemed as if God must have disappeared. I felt lost. The ground beneath my feet evaporated.
But God. He surrounded me with beauty and grace and buoyed my soul so I could lament. He gave me the goodness of Psalm 23 during sleepless nights and the surety of his presence – not absence- in this valley. He embraced me through a friend who sat with me as I collapsed to the ground in shock. We witnessed the beauty of community as she and her husband prayed with us and watched our kids while we spent a few days away grieving, stunned and broken hearted.
His beauty was all around us as we went on a walk in the woods – giving us all shades of green to feast our eyes. Birds sang, worshipping when I couldn’t. Beauty became my lifeline. It anchored me to the goodness of our God.
The same is true for our kids. Beauty has made them feel at home when they are homesick or going through heartache.
Beauty strengthens the soul to face grief. And grief makes us long for beauty.
When our kids are struggling to live in the love of the Father because of suffering in their lives, chasing beauty is just what the doctor ordered. Grab the kids and choose a project that will breathe life and hope into your souls:
hanging flowers on the porch,
decorating bedrooms to their taste,
going on picnics on poppy-covered fields,
baking favorite desserts together,
having dance parties,
exploring favorite markets,
rejoicing together at the sunset,
singing worship songs,
reading poems while drinking tea,
beholding breathtaking cliffs or,
gazing at star-filled night time skies.
His beauty opens our eyes to the steadfast love of the Lord that surrounds his kids even when darker colors inhabit the landscape of our lives. It shelters us in the day of trouble enabling us to believe we will see his goodness in the land of living (Psalm 27:4, 5, 13).