Everybody needs beauty as well as bread,
places to play in and pray in,
where nature may heal and give strength
to body and soul.
Many literary researchers believe that Margaret Wolfe Hungerford, who wrote prolifically under the pen name “The Duchess,” was the first to assert that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Since then the truth in her assertion has been universally accepted because beauty is, and has always been, highly subjective. Eye-appeal not only comes from a variety of sources, but it also means different things to each heir of its gift. Regardless of what our perception of beauty is, however, I believe the profit gained by an individual’s spirit is the same as what his or her body gains from water, vitality and renewal. Even the smallest measure of comeliness is one of the very best and most uplifting joys in life; it is like a blinking sign that says “look and listen–you are glimpsing the great goodness in the sacred heart of God.” Its life-giving spark is a powerfully restorative tidbit in a random moment that blesses the beholder, a magical moment that creates a kind of vacuum, a space not unlike what is found in the eye of a storm where peace and rest reign. And in beauty’s stilled-for-the-moment haven hunger in the gut is squelched and the soul is fed with holy benedictions.
One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek Him in His temple. ~Psalm 27:4