God’s aesthetic is stunning and it’s amazing how much it surprises us to be in awe of it. I am always amazed by the colors of the sunsets and sunrises I see. I’m emboldened to say that I have seen quite a bit of them and yet, every time I see one, it moves and speaks to me. It’s taken me a long time to learn the language of the beauty in the world, but I have finally translated it.
I have discovered that every twinkling star, every waterfall, every mountain waiting to be hiked, every tree we witness going through several lifetimes starting with a new one each spring only to die again each fall, every beautiful thing we can observe all says the same thing. Each one says it differently, but it still moves us the same way if you pay attention. It is all one repeated message echoing throughout the days, weeks, months, years, with the goal of conditioning us into knowing one incredible truth. One life giving truth. A truth so important, knowing it can change the trajectory of lives.
It took me a while to translate, but now I can’t help but hear it. Every time I feel the wind, or look out onto the ocean, or witness the winter fade and the spring invade, I hear it. Almost like the words are spoken audibly. I hear God tell me through the colors, through the movement, through the energy you can feel from witnessing beauty. He says it in whispers, sometimes shouting, sometimes it’s the song of a bird, or the rustling of the leaves, but He always gives me this message through His beauty. Through all of this He is so tenderly saying, “I love you”.
And my favorite part about this message about God’s aesthetic is humans are part of it. We too can say I love you just like God. And we can say it with our words, yes, but we can say it through good deeds, through a smile or a hug. We can show our love through listening, making something, or defending them. The list can go on, but the biggest realization here is when we showcase our love in these ways, we too are showing love through beauty. We love people through what is beautiful.
In this way, when we show our true love for another, we are mimicking the sunrise. What’s more is when we experience the love of someone else, and truly understand that it is taking place, it’s like witnessing a shooting star. Love and beauty both impact us with wonder and lead us to their source, God. Love is deeper, and we would even say that it is beautiful, but witnessing something that is beautiful can also lead us to love.
In this way, the meaning of beauty is life giving. We can know we are loved always when we witness beauty in the world. We show people beautiful things when we love them.
Yes, we understand that love and beauty are not the same thing, but this is the same as saying that words and the meaning they convey are not the same thing. The phrase is merely a sign of deeper things understood. Just like beauty is a sign of that which is deeper, love.
God is love and He is beautiful. It’s impossible to know one of these without the other. Both are carried to us through the unspoken message of the world. Both are conveyed by the Cross. Both should be reflected upon. Both are a part of God’s aesthetic.