Spring has sprung here in central Ohio. I have bright yellow tulips splashed with scarlet, deep purple crocus, pastel daffodils, and a primary yellow forsythia all in bloom in my yard; none of which I planted. I am preparing my kitchen for a fresh coat of paint which will take me a month since I can only do about one wall at a time before I lose interest and energy. I like the idea that I’m making something more beautiful. I like to imagine that those who follow me into this home will like my color choices and decide to keep some of them. It is good to create beauty not just for our own enjoyment, but for those who follow us.
It’s a simple notion, of course, and not at all original. But it seems like I’m more aware of it in this particular season of my life. I’m more intentional about it. Once you have fewer tomorrows than yesterdays, you tend to think more of those coming after you who still have a lot of miles on them.
I pause my frog-taping frenzy and call NPR to make a contribution thinking: Oh no…you aren’t going off the air on my watch. This is, of course, a bit of a stretch since my .25/day contribution probably won’t keep them afloat. Still. NPR serves me well. It gives me sermon illustrations. It introduces me to new music. It lifts my spirit with storytelling and comedy sketches and soulful ballads on rainy days.
And I like the idea that it is shared by many. Like flowers, the beauty is not just for one.
One of the things I love about being part of the church is that our weekly worship is a family reunion in which we see one another in all our fullness over time. This week, I see a brother crippled in pain. Nearby, a sister is shining with joy of anticipation. An elderly couple, fused together after 60+ years of life-shared bow their heads in gratitude. Together, the faithful family rises to sing. And the beauty of that sound transcends the separate cries of individual souls for just a few moments.
Beauty takes many forms. Calling it out is something that God does continually if we only pay attention. And we seem to participate in that artistry with God because the beauty we create is like a prism: illuminating back on the artist while simultaneously reaching forth to touch everyone who passes through its graceful light.