Archives For beauty

If someone visited the churches in your city—let’s say the Protestant ones—what would they conclude about Christians, in terms of beauty? If the sanctuaries in your city are anything like mine, they’d assume that Christians don’t care much about it.

Sure, we appreciate beauty when it crosses our path—in a song by Adele or a handmade leather wallet—but only if we have time for it. In the hierarchy of life, there are more important things—like paying our heating bills, getting the brakes fixed, and telling people about Jesus. 

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But, while we might prioritize necessity over beauty, God never does. From the beginning, he wove aesthetics into the necessity of life. His new world wasn’t just sustainable and durable, it was also beautiful. We catch glimmers of that beauty when God observes his work and calls it “good” and when Adam enthuses after seeing Eve for the first time, but we run straight into it in chapter three—at the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil Continue Reading…

I squinted through the glass, studying the columns of ruffles, the blue sash, and the hint of puffed sleeves. My friend and I talked about the dress for weeks. But, I’m a pastor’s kid, which means I suffer from a love-hate relationship with shopping. 


If a shrink had me on her couch, she’d probably dip up memories of my mom dragging me to the back of every store, past the full-price clothes that glimmered and whispered my name. Even at the age of ten, I knew I had a better chance getting my gerbil to paint the Mona Lisa than of owning that dress.


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Several weeks later, my friend showed me her new Christmas outfit. As the gold taffeta swooshed around her legs, envy crawled up mine. I tried to smother images of the hand-me-downs I’d be wearing on Christmas Eve. 


But, just then, grace happened Continue Reading…

I sat in front of my laptop. The sun was still snoozing under the horizon and I was reading Exodus, one of those books from the front half of the Bible. Actually, I wasn’t reading. I was floating half-conscious over paragraphs about alters, oil, and priests and wondering why I had left the land of sleep for this. 


But, then my eyes snagged on something. “And you shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, for glory and for beauty.” (Ex. 28:2, ESV). 


Wait, I thought, beauty matters to God? 


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After all the years I spent in Sunday school, I felt pretty good about how well I could predict God. If he was selecting qualities he wanted in worship—his first draft pick would be glory. Subsequent rounds he’d choose things like love, faith, and obedience. But, it had never crossed my mind that God’s idea of worship wasn’t complete without beauty Continue Reading…

Beauty at the Curb

smgianotti  —  March 5, 2015

Jewel scraped her boot through the leaves congregating in the gutter. Her glossy, black heel revealed a cigarette butt and the corner of a Snickers wrapper matted to the cement by summer dirt and fall rain. From the look of it, the trash had claimed this corner long before she had.

 15040 City

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At the sound of tires, Jewel’s spine straightened and her hips cocked, but the black sedan sped up. She threw a provocative smile anyways, only to have the tinted windows fling it back.

Continue Reading…

…truth is the way God does things, beauty is what this looks (and feels) like.

William A. Dyrness, Poetic Theology: God and the Poetics of Everyday Life (Kindle Locations 3567-3568). Kindle Edition.