what is beauty, anyway?
yet undefinable thing.
we use it as a noun,
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,
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,
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.
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.
the creator of beauty,
the one who fashioned this world with his hands,
created the stars that hang just out of reach,
tempting in their grand display and cloaks of mystery.
the king of the smallest ant and the largest mountain
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.