Brokeness and beauty

Faith column

By Pastor Murray Wittke

Valley Christian Assembly

Ours is a broken but beautiful world. Everyday brokenness clamours for our attention with jarring images of human suffering and pain. And yet beauty also quietly surrounds us, always available, awaiting our response. Where’s your attention focused? What occupies your thoughts, brokenness or beauty?

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. When He finished He saw that it was all very good; not only good for something, it looked good, it was beautiful. But why make everything so beautiful when it wasn’t necessary? Because the beauty of the earth was the joyful expression of God’s heart. Beauty is God’s gift of love, waiting to be received and enjoyed, if only we’ll take the time to linger and look. But beauty is not merely to be looked at, beauty is to be looked through. When we gaze at a the sun sinking behind the Purcells, listen to the red wing blackbirds sing on the wetlands, or smell the fragrance of lilacs, our hearts perceive something richer and deeper through them. Through their beauty we catch glimpses of God’s own beauty, love, and grace.

But like fire, brokenness continually draws our attention, obscures our view, and darkens our horizons. Fire comes unexpectedly, and suddenly trees centuries old go up in smoke, and pristine forests are reduced to ash. Life can be like that; tragedy strikes, accidents happen, marriages fail, and dreams are shattered. It’s tempting to focus only on the destruction, yet amid brokenness beauty returns. Much like the sea of purple fireweed that springs up and covers a burned over hillside, the persistent presence of beauty in our world reassures us with whispers of hope.

Pause to reflect upon the beauty of our earthly home and you’ll sense it calling to something deep within you. Beauty is God’s open invitation to return to the source of all beauty, especially when our lives and hearts are broken. God promises to give “beauty for ashes” to all those who mourn. Our Creator is a good and beautiful God, trust Him. He makes everything beautiful in his time.

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