February 27, 2013

The Intangible Truths of Beauty

you betcha.
what is beauty, anyway?
that tangible
yet undefinable thing.
we use it as a noun,
an adjective,
a compliment,
an aspiration;
but do any of us truly know what it is?
i know how i treat it.
i treat it like it's something to be obtained,
yet i distinctly remember a time when it was,
something to be appreciated.
beauty used to be the way sand felt running through my fingers,
the delight of words that rhymed,
the sun sliding into the sea,
drowned again for the night
(but it always resurrects again in the morning).
misty mornings were lovely,
and diving into the cool embrace of a lake was enchantment.
when did it ever become something else?
when did it become the equivalent of acceptance.
when did it become a name,
a number,
a look?
when did i decide to exchange the simple joy of experimental observation
for attempts to claim a false translation of an undefinable lie?
and what is beauty, 
beauty is...
worn from long hours of sun-scorched labor,
creased with the marks of repeated use,
callused by rope and primitive tools
-a carpenter's hands-
pierced through with nails
and pinned against wood.
beauty is...
eyes that have known compassion,
have seen the sick healed,
the dead raised to life,
the bowed head of a woman,
weeping in shame,
as she washes his feet with her hair
(am i at all unlike that woman?)
seeking their forgiveness.
beauty is...
the creator of beauty,
the one who fashioned this world with his hands,
invented colour,
created the stars that hang just out of reach,
tempting in their grand display and cloaks of mystery.
beauty is...
the king of the smallest ant and the largest mountain
and me.
i have been made in the image of beauty,
fearfully and wonderfully made.
i am bound with the marks of love,
freed by the sacrifice of grace,
 and living under the law of mercy.
i am not beautiful because i make myself beautiful
or because i have any ounce of lovely in me.
i am all filthy rags and sin-stained standards.
i am beautiful because i bear the image of god,
and the spirit of christ.
is beauty.


Liz Raz said...

Here here!

Rachel said...


THIS is wonderful!


John Harper said...

Grace: I love this poem. It reminds me of that quote "What I believe about God is the most important thing about me." He is ALL we truly own.

John Harper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Becca said...

And this . . .is the best definition of beauty I've ever had the privilege of reading. Keep speaking truth, friend!

emii said...

oh so beautiful. thankyou. for reminding what beauty is, when i keep trying to seek it.

Leanna Kay said...

This is wonderful. Amen.

Grace Doolittle said...

These comments warmed my heart.
Thank you all.