“One [thing] have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.” Psalm 27:4
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder… Or so we’re told.
While driving home last week my two-year-old piped up from the backseat, “Look mommy, clouds! Clouds pretty.” As I gazed out the windshield at the seemingly normal gatherings of white wisps in the sky I realized it really was a beautiful day. The thought struck me, how would I explain beauty to a blind person? You can feel the warm caress of a summer breeze on your face, hear the alluring melody of a soulful song, smell the fresh fragrance of the earth after a refreshing rain or taste the finest delicacies the world has to offer, but how do you explain beauty?
I have struggled for 12 years with a degenerative corneal eye disease called keratoconus… Fancy medical terms to describe a slow descent into blindness. I’m legally blind in my right eye and about halfway there in my left even after 2 surgeries. I cannot wear glasses or contacts for correction and may need to have corneal transplant surgery soon. Despite that, this is one of the most beautiful aspects of my life!
Yes, it is frustrating… Yes, it is confusing… Yes, it is painful… Yes, I do question God at times.
But it is also glorious knowing that God has chosen this suffering for me. It’s beautiful.
If you have ever seen the beauty of God work through the brokenness of the human condition, you will know exactly what I mean. If not, I return to my dilemma: how can I describe beauty to someone who is spiritually blind?
Most people don’t understand why I have this picture of my son on my desk. I have far cuter pictures of him, some professionally taken and most much more recent. This is his first picture, taken just moments after he entered the world as he looked up at me. I choose to keep this one because it is the most beautiful picture to me- demonstrating innocence and utter dependence.
The working of God in our lives does not always appear beautiful by human standards. God longs for people dependent on Him as little children and that’s what my blindness does- makes me completely dependent on Him. Yes, I want to see clearly again, but I wouldn’t trade the beauty of this suffering for all the corneas in the world. Why? Because beauty IS in the eye of the beholder- and I know who is beholding my life. What others see as a mess, He may see as beauty.
So who is beholding you?