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Beauty Will Save the World

Beauty will save the world.

What a radical claim. But one that I believe with every fiber of my being. I’ve always been awed by beautiful things. Sometimes the way sunlight falls across a wooden floor stops me in my tracks and the incredible weight of glory comes crashing in. It can hit me so acutely that I feel as though my chest might burst. C.S. Lewis, Sheldon Vanauken, Pope Saint John Paul II and Cardinal Ratzinger have all put words to this phenomenon, and many of them use the analogy of a wound to describe it. This seems to be the best way I can describe it too. A dazzling, deep wound that reminds me I am not made for this world. And when I encounter these glimpses of eternity in the stillness before dawn or the briny ocean breeze or a melody so sweet it hurts, I often feel a violent urge to capture it. To spill ink and freeze light. At its most selfish, this urge comes from a desire to grasp beautiful things and hold onto them for myself. At its most selfless, the urge comes from a desire to share the beauty with others. And at its most raw and real, the urge is simply a deep longing to be swallowed up in the beauty for which my heart was made.

May I fight for true beauty every day, despite the lies poured out by the world. May my amen be fierce and resounding. May it be an overwhelming yes to Calvary and the empty tomb. The cross and the resurrection. The agony and the ecstasy. Good Friday and Easter. The desire to create this blog ultimately culminated in a painful but necessary reminder that Jesus’ invitation to follow Him is not an easy one. Rather, His call to Love is radical and painful and shaped like a cross. But amidst the journey, He offers such beauty. I want to share that here by posting words, photos, art, and everything in between.

I think this project has been a long time coming. It was borne out of several promptings by the Holy Spirit and encouraging words from many people I love. One of my favorites is an old email from my high school track coach that I stumbled upon in my inbox the other day. He sent it to me just before I started college. These are the words he said:

“You need to write every day. Learn to let it flow from the heart…. Document your experiences and feelings. One day a little girl like mine will read your words and be inspired. They will hear the stories of success and defeat and be inspired to do more, and want more. Good luck.”

Jesus has given me each breath that I inhale, and I intend to give every last exhale back to Him. If he can use this tiny corner of the internet to proclaim beauty and hope, then I want to allow Him. This world will pierce our hearts over and over again, but we don’t have to hold those broken, beating, messes all by ourselves. I want to share a piece of my heart here in the name of being a wounded human being on this big blue planet spinning through the universe. I know you ache, too. You are not alone.

So here’s to the ache of beauty and the attempt to express eternity in words and photons. A futile endeavor, but perhaps one of the most important we can attempt.

"Being struck and overcome by the beauty of Christ is a more real, more profound knowledge than mere rational deduction. Of course we must not underrate the importance of theological reflection, of exact and precise theological thought; it remains absolutely necessary. But to move from here to disdain or to reject the impact produced by the response of the heart in the encounter with beauty as a true form of knowledge would impoverish us and dry up our faith and our theology. We must rediscover this form of knowledge; it is a pressing need of our time" --Cardinal Ratzinger

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