Back about 2 years ago, I had an awesome counselor (shout out to Ansley!) who read an excerpt out of amazing book, Captivating. It’s mostly about the unveiling of a woman’s soul and all that it entails. However, the paragraph that she read us was about nature and its true relationship to functionality.
“Nature is not primarily functional. It is primarily beautiful. Stop for a moment and let that sink in. We’re so used to evaluating everything (and everyone) by their usefulness that this thought will take a minute or two to begin to dawn on us. Nature is not primarily functional. It is primarily beautiful. Which is to say, beauty is in and of itself a great and glorious good, something we need in large and daily doses (for our God has seen fit to arrange this).” (Eldredge 35)
At first, I thought that it was just another intellectual way of looking at the world. But after our last Club at camp, Claire (my best friend who is in a lot of the pictures on here) and I wanted to soak up every last ounce of the energy from the 2 hour long worship session; therefore, we decided to turn the street into our very own star gazing bed. Laying there in a place that acted as a spiritual safe haven for so many years, next to this girl who was in so many of my fond, spiritual, and embarrassing memories made my nostalgia swell. I felt the openness of the street and the breeze across the tips of my nose and fingers, the soft distant chatter, and the magnitude of the rest of the expanding universe. And I began to think. How could God make nature with the primary goal of beauty? How could the source of life not categorized under functionality – but rather under enchantment? It almost seemed careless to disregard the vital uses that the natural world has to offer. There was food, water, and shelter that life so deeply depended on, to only name a few. However, while there are specific functions behind it all, I realized the way things are does not mean they are how they have to be. Think about it. A world where forests and beaches are unimaginable, and nutrients ooze out of the ground sporadically upon “feeding times.” That is what needs to be done in order for us to live. No variations of colors or textures because nothing says that sweet fruits must be rich in aroma and color. There are no laws that say that rain must collect in beads on a delicate flower petal. These things that appear as necessities and as absolutes, actually, have no foundation to be thought in such manner. So if that is so, then why did God spend 6 days creating it in unique and wonderful ways? Well, the easy, one word answer is the same reason He sent his son – love. He created the ultimate piece of living art that grows and dies and adapts at so many levels as the greatest love letter to an indifferent race. From the billowiness of a cloud to the texture of sand between bare toes, it is all an unnoticed gift of love. There is no alternative motive, just to continually bewitch, body and soul, humanity over thousands of years. As I peaked at the stars between the finger-like branches of swaying trees, I thought about the purpose of the distant stars. They are so distant that many of them have already died out, yet their light continues to travel years later to reach me in this very instant. Each star glowing together with billions of other stars to harmonize in God’s nocturnal symphony. A symphony that is played nightly for our eyes to gaze upon and for our souls to be engulfed in.
It is such a strange way to think, that every sunset and leaf and water droplet is both with and without function. Let me clarify this real quick, just because something is primarily functional does not mean it cannot be beautiful; I am merely pointing out the fact that it is important to understand whether something is rooted as an essence of efficient life, or rather, of raw allure. To know of God’s blessings and to recognize God’s blessings are two separate matters: one of the head and one of the heart. And furthermore, to look at love only with your head presents discrepancies; because how could logistics explain joyous, rapturing emotion? Love is a verb, and God’s love is meant to be felt – not analyzed. So therefore, I ask, when is the last time you felt the endearing ensemble that is the universe?
See ya later,