“We do not want merely to see beauty… we want something else which can hardly be put into words- to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it.” C.S Lewis
That is what I want, and I’ve experienced that longing more times than I can count. I have been blessed in life to have seen and experienced so much beauty, but as Jon Foreman wrote “Every blessing comes with a set of curses”, and while I am fortunate for so many wonderful things, the beauty always leaves behind a trace of sorrow.
Why is the human heart full of deep longings for impossibilities? For that which is unreal,for dreams, for things long past and things far away? For a type of love that I’m not entirely sure exists, for fancies and tastes that ought not to matter so much? Why do some things strike a chord deep within and then leave behind sorrowful vibrations in the soul? The one note of beauty is scarcely worth the echoes of dissatisfaction.
I have often felt that putting a good gift in my hands is comparable to dressing Frankenstein in a tuxedo- it does nothing to improve my situation! The wicked creature that I am only serves to dishonour that goodness and bring the gift to ruin. No, I do not merely want good things, they are not the answer to my situation. Rather, I want to be transformed into that which is good, and be a channel through which good is poured out. I want to know Goodness Himself, to be part of Him, and to be consumed by His beauty and light.
Deep within we really want more than to simply have what we think is good, but to be immersed in goodness and be a very part of that which is beautiful and good. To me, the longings that we have for beauty, goodness, and meaning are proof that we were in fact made for something greater than ourselves. If you have searched within but came up empty and dissatisfied, then take heart: what you see is not all there is.
We were made for fellowship with the light. Made to be a part of something beautiful, something good, something holy. When God breathed His life into our lungs He placed within us a piece of heaven. He made us in His likeness and imprinted our souls with His image, and even though humanity fell we are still covered with His fingerprints! We lost the goodness and beauty within on that day when sin entered the world, and now we all walk around with a gaping hole in our lives where that beauty and goodness belongs. Maybe that gap won’t be completely filled until we reach heaven. The whole world is searching for fulfillment and still every single one of us will admit that life has gaps in it-that’s just the way it is. The beautiful thing about Christ is that He gives us hope- hope that as we walk this life guided by His hands, He is working for good in the end. One day I will meet Him face to face and every hurt, every imperfection, every longing, and every gap will completely vanish away in His presence.
Beauty leaves behind sorrow for what is not here, but it also leaves behind hope for what one day will be.