Friday, October 14, 2011

Days of Beauty: The Cost

Have you discovered yet that most beauty comes with a cost?

The beauty of rest costs time and forsaking other things to just rest. The beauty of peace costs trading in our fear. The beauty we create with our hands can cost time and/or money.

Beauty can be messy.

Consider this:

Matthew 26:5-15,
"While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper, a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table. When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. 'Why this waste?' they asked. 'This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.' Aware of this, Jesus said to them, 'Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. I tell you the truth, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.'"

And, the very next thing that happens is that Judas went to the chief priests to work out a deal in exchange for Jesus. This, for me - makes what this woman did even more beautiful. Nearing His final days on earth - she created beauty for Him, she served Him with sacrificial beauty, she knew He was worth it!

Beauty is not the most practical choice you can make. To decide to set a beautiful table or make something that takes a little extra effort is not the easiest or quickest choice. Many times it does not "simplify" our lives. Beauty does cost us something.

For people like me who thrive on creating beauty - this is a need - but to some it can seem like nonsense.

Why would I take (waste?) so much time in lugging beauty over to our neighborhood lake to have an hour there with my children? Why not just walk over there and play?

Why would I make shaped sandwiches when regular ones would take less than half the time?

Why would I go all out on the First Day of School to create a beautiful breakfast when a regular breakfast would work just as well?

I mean, beauty is messy - right? When I'm creating beauty - I'm not doing my chores or keeping my house neat and tidy. In fact, creating beauty usually means a bigger mess to clean up.

You get what I'm saying, right?



I can't help it really. Creating beauty is worship. It isn't really an option for me - when I express the acts of making beauty, enjoying beauty, sharing beauty - I feel more alive.

And, look again at the woman in the passage above. Those around her thought she was crazy too. But, not Jesus. He saw her worship, her heart, the cost that she took on herself to make this happen. And, yes - it cost her.

In addition to the personal words against her and the struggle she must've known under these critical thoughts and words, the actual perfume she used was very expensive. Like, possibly an entire years worth of wages expensive. Bring that into your reality and consider if this beauty would've been worth the cost to you.

But, she was compelled to serve in this way. To extend beauty. To move past the criticism and serve her Lord.

Yes, beauty costs. But, when it comes from a heart worshiping Him - it can't be helped! And, the cost is a joy.

Do you avoid beauty because of the cost?

PS: A friend and I were recently discussing some of this via e-mail, and we agreed that perhaps some of us were more inclined to create beauty and others of us may be more inclined to observe or receive beauty. Please don't think I'm saying that if you don't create beauty - you aren't willing to incur the cost. I know we are all wired differently! I'm simply sharing from my perspective of one who can't help creating beauty. It adds so much to my life, it is more than worth the cost! And, if you aren't wired to create beauty - but to receive it, just joyfully receiving it will bring beauty to the one who loves to create beauty!


Mom said...

You definitely have a gift for creating beauty -- lovely post!
Love you, Mom

LynnMarie said...

Creating Beauty also is a way to show love to those who share your home. What a great way to show your love for your husband and children than to have a special meal or a nicely set table to eat at!

Carrie said...

I love the things you point out here -- most notably, of course, that beauty costs us something. I think of that in terms of building relationships with other people. The deepest and best friendships and relationships are a thing of beauty. And yet they cost so very much. Time. Effort. Energy. Beauty of that sort of a deep investment!

I also like that you point out that no everyone is gifted to create it. (I'm not so much.) I can come up with SOME things to add particular beauty to a table. I have a greater ability when it comes to decorating our home. But I'm more inspired by walking outside and enjoying what God created or enjoying what others have created. Appreciate you "allowing" for that. (Not that you were "allowing" in a bad sense. Perhaps acknowledging is a better word.)

Lots and lots to think on here! And btw, I thoroughly enjoy the beautiful posts you put together to inspire us onward!

Anonymous said...

What beautiful thoughts. If there wasn't beauty this world would be quite boring and whether we are the ones creating or enjoying it - beauty is important. Just look at nature and you can see how much God treasured simple beauty.