A man should hear a little music,
read a little poetry, and
see a fine picture every day of his life,
in order that worldly cares
may not obliterate the sense of the
beautiful implanted in the human soul.
~Johann Wolfgang Goethe
In her novel, THE COLOR PURPLE, Alice Walker says she thinks God gets angry if a person walks by the color purple and doesn’t notice it. At one point in her story the main character, Celie is told to look at the purple flowers and to embrace their beauty in spite of all the pain and suffering in her world. She is urged to see the good in them because it was God who placed them on earth. As she comes to this realization for herself, she begins to understands the magnitude of God’s grace, and like the purple flowers, blossoms as she gains a respect for God and life.
It’s obvious that God puts a premium on beauty, not only for His own sake but also for ours. Since we are made in His image, our souls cannot help but be implanted by a “sense of the beautiful” as Goethe suggests. As a highway sign points us in the right direction, in the same way loveliness points to God’s heavenly realm and His goodness. If we can find beauty, then we can find God. Beauty is meant to feed us spiritually, and the Lord uses what’s beautiful to speak to our hearts for His divine purposes. For example notice all the richness and beauty involved in the scriptural telling of the birth of the Christ child. It starts with a beautiful star that leads the way to a manger. For Celie her beautiful flowers led her to God’s grace, and the Christ child brings all who follow the star and Him the same gift of redeeming grace.