Cascades In Winter

Human nature praises and rewards beautiful people, as though they had made themselves beautiful…*

Being aware that one day soon just finding a woman attractive may be deemed “sexual harassment”, I will take this opportunity to say that some of them do look rather fantastic. And to balance out this “sexist” remark, I also wish to observe that some men look pretty fine too. Come to think of it, before you begin to feel your inferiority complex coming on as I do, I hasten to add that well, everyone, when you look at them in a certain way and in a certain mood, has an appealing and winsome side to them.

Most of us with children spend many hours watching them, admiring their fresh and appealing appearance and their ways. Even the parents of Adolph Hitler probably thought he was a darling little baby. And our attraction isn’t limited to people. We surround ourselves with pets which we cuddle, talk to, caress, stroke, kiss and praise; we spend huge amounts of time and money growing gardens of striking color and variety, and we travel hundreds and thousands of miles to look at buildings or scenery. There’s something in us which makes us find some things beautiful: an aesthetic sense causing us to gravitate towards things we think look nice.

Beyond sight, our thirst for beauty employs all five of our physical senses. I love to listen to music, and I often imagine the sounds “tickling” my brain cells, sparking all kinds of emotions and feelings. How blessed we are to have such an appreciation for life, the universe and everything.

But before long there always seems to be something to spoil or tarnish our view of the thing or the person we admire. There’s a deception of some kind, a disconnection between natural beauty and behavior. That “beautiful” woman may actually turn out to be shallow, selfish and cold-hearted. The man we admire for his looks and strength may be arrogant and self-centered. A cuddly cat, playful and covered in soft fur, may have just caught the prettiest little bird and ripped it to pieces, and an area of natural beauty may be ruined by giant wind turbines.

Ultimately physical beauty is also temporal. All of nature, including the beautiful woman, the handsome man, the cuddly cat, the stunning scenery, is nothing more than a finite physical creation, a work of art.

We’re looking at the creative power of God, “fallen” though it may be. We mistakenly admire the creature, and forget the Creator. The beautiful woman didn’t make herself beautiful, and the handsome man didn’t choose to be born handsome. The child didn’t create his own glowing fresh young skin or his infectious giggle, and the mountains didn’t decide to make themselves collossal and wild in order to be photographed and featured in glossy magazines. Beauty is provided, imputed, loaned, conferred by its original designer and creator, not acquired by merit or effort.

When we look at a painting and marvel at how well it represents someone or something, we naturally praise the artist, not the picture for creating itself. And what we’re really looking at is a talent given to man by God, whether the artist knows it or not, along with the ability to appreciate it. A piece of music which moves us body and soul is really a reflection of the creative power of God, whether the composer acknowledges it or not. Yes, we can appreciate and admire the composer who may have worked hard to develop his gift, and we can enhance the beautiful woman by dressing her up and putting her under the right kind of lighting…

…but let’s give God the glory.

*This is a re-write of a post from many moons ago-apologies to anyone who may have read it already

 

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