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The Awe and Wonder of Beauty

I’m in awe of my daughter.  Never before have I been held so captive and speechless than when I am in her presence or when I sift through my memories of her.  Part of it is her beauty. She is utterly innocent. She doesn’t have an agenda. She overflows with smiles and laughter. She is even generous--she already hands me her toys when I ask for them!  Part of it is also her development. Every day she is different. Some days it is subtle. Other days it is obvious--like when she hits a milestone or begins to transition to milestones.  But every single day she is new.

“Beauty is necessarily shrouded in mystery--which is part of its splendour.” -Thomas Dubay, The Evidential Power of Beauty

Part of my awe and wonder is also the fact that I do not remember this part of my childhood.  None of us remember it! But now, as I crawl around the floor of every nook and cranny of our home, chasing her, hiding from her, playing with her, I get a glimpse into that lost memory of babyland. As I soak up the presence of my daughter, I also get a glimpse into the life of my wife.  I see her childhood, her infancy, her innocence, her spendor. People are always asking about how the baby is doing, and, although I have plenty to say, I respond by simply telling them how I am constantly overwhelmed with wonder and awe in her presence.

“The acute experience of great beauty readily evokes a nameless yearning for something more than earth can offer. Elegant splendor reawakens our spirit’s aching need for the infinite, a hunger for more than matter can provide.” - Thomas Dubay, The Evidential Power of Beauty

I realize that I am blessed to have this unique experience of Fatherhood in my life right now.  Beauty is all around us though. The sparks of awe and wonder are flickering throughout each day.  Far too often, we don’t drink them in, or even worse, we blindly pass them by. As magical as an infant may be, or perhaps as the changing colors on a cool fall day, a vibrant sunset, the smell of flowers or food, or our special yet simple encounters with people may be, the greatest magic of all is who that unfulfilled wonder is giving us access to: God.  These awesome moments not only bring us into an encounter with God, but they orient us even more toward Him and they increase our deep longing for Him.

Lord God, thank you for the beauty that you’ve purposefully integrated into all of your creation. Bless our vision to recognize that beauty. Bless us with patience to sit in awe as we behold your beauty. Bless us with perseverance to live beautiful lives of gratitude, mercy, and love. And bless us with the joyful hope that we “may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of our lives.”