Skip to main content

Searching for Beauty

A couple years ago my wife and I got a chance to visit a dear college friend who now lives in San Diego. San Diego is a beautiful city. The weather seemingly is always a balmy 86--with a 3 degree swing cooler overnight. No matter where you are in the city you are only 20 minutes away from a view of the Pacific Ocean. I'm pretty sure that the Garden of Eden may have actually been San Diego pre-flood era or something.

My guess is that if you were to ask someone born and raised in San Diego, they wouldn't have nearly the same excitement that Katie and I had. After all, we all get bored with what surrounds us. When someone with an oceanfront property wakes up, they don't sit and gawk at the ocean the same way a Midwest American would. Someone from the West Coast likewise might be intrigued by the symphony of cicadas on a summer night in Ohio because they are unfamiliar with that experience.

We get so ingrained in our habitual routines that many (or maybe most) days we forget to look around us and see the beautiful world we are living in. 

True talk:
There are days I wake up and I view Katie as a working partner--we have tasks to accomplish that day and so we put on our grubby clothes and get to work. There is no romancing or flirting. There is little thought about wooing or kanoodling. Yet when I stop and think about the beauty that I have married, I am blown away by God's creation! He has given Katie beautiful attributes that cannot be stripped away by age, surgery, diet, or disease. But all of those qualities can be so easy to miss because I see them everyday. Routine and habit draw a veil over my eyes and I miss seeing those beautiful attributes unless I pause and reflect on them. 

Cincinnati can seem like an awful boring place to live from day-to-day. In the summer things get really hot. In the winter they get really cold. We don't have exotic wildlife, botany, or bodies of water (unless you count brown and sludgy as exotic...). We have mediocre sports teams, colleges and terrain. It would be pretty easy to overlook the beauty that God has put around us every single day. If you don't look closely. 

We are just far enough north to not have poisonous snakes and for the insects to die during the winter, but we are far enough south to avoid bears and frozen winters. We aren't on any major fault lines or tornado allies, we don't get hit with hurricanes or floods. We have such lush vegetation that it will grow anywhere, especially in cracks in the sidewalk. And we have a pretty diverse group of people groups ranging from German and Guatemalan to African and Appalachian. 

Beauty is all around us, we just have to see it with fresh eyes. 

We have to search for hidden beauty. 

Look closely.


  1. You are a delight, my love. I appreciate your perspective. Here's to living with eyes wide open!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Protesting ChristMass

During a meeting with several other Cincinnati area worship ministers last week we got to talking shop about Christmas/Christmas Eve services; who was doing them, who was not, how many and what time. I was intrigued (neither positive nor adverse reaction) to find that roughly a third of the churches represented were not having any kind of Christmas Day services, even though Christmas morning is a Sunday this year. Yet there was one leader (Reggie) who said that their church has a Christmas morning worship service every year regardless of whether it falls on a Sunday.

Initially this shocked me. How could this be? Why would this be? Why have a church service every Christmas? Why not stay home and eat cinnamon rolls and open presents like the rest of America? Reggie said many of the people who expect this from his congregation are not native North Americans. Initially Reggie was against the idea, but once he realized how many people from his congregation wanted to have a Christmas mornin…

The Home School Game

Today is the Feast of St. Nicholas. Our family has started a tradition of celebrating this day by opening gifts from our stockings on this day and remembering the historical figure of Nicholas, who was a humble and generous person. It is a wonderful compromise for our family backgrounds to both celebrate Santa Claus and at the same time keep Christ-mas about Christ. It has become a tradition I look forward to every year.

This year, we decided to add an element of teaching our children to be generous by choosing toys they want to give away to other girls and boys who are less fortunate than our children. Katie lined up two dozen toys they had not been playing with for some time now and laid them all out on a table. One by one, our kids examined the toys on the table and were instructed to pick out onetoy they wanted to keep for themselves. After each kid had picked out a toy to keep, they were told to go back through the toys and pick another toy they wanted to give away. It was heart-…

Imitation: Diets, Houses, and Faith

There were 3 options for my preschoolers to choose from: Honey Bunches of Oats, Cocoa Pebbles, or Raisin Bran. I set all 3 on the table and asked each child which cereal they would like to eat for breakfast; all three chose 'Honey Boats.' After pouring their cereal and getting each kid situated, I poured myself a bowl of Raisin Bran and we all got to munching.

When Isaiah (my oldest) finished his cereal first he asked if he could have more. Sure thing, which one do you want? 
"That one" *pointing to the Raisin Bran*
Surprised I pour him a bowl of Raisin Bran, surprised that he ate the entire bowl.

As we were cleaning up our bowls from the table after breakfast I realized that the Cocoa Pebbles were not touched this morning, not even mentioned. Odd, I thought, typically the chocolately-sugary cereals don't last a week at our house. And yet this is the same [big] bag of Cocoa Pebbles that we opened over a month ago. Why the sudden lack of interest?