Pastoral Ponderings—Sharing Beauty


I LOVE it when people are eager to share beauty!  We’ve already had great stuff going at our prayer/meditation garden over the years, that started with a Boy Scout sharing the beauty of creating it for his Eagle Scout project, and it just keeps getting added to.  The latest addition is some morning glory flowers planted by the trellis.  Often when I’m driving around, I see this flower or that, and wish I could see more of it, and after seeing some pictures of them, I’m sure Morning Glory is one I’ve gushed over before.  I just must have fallen asleep in school when they were talking about flowers.

I was so excited when I first heard about these little beauties being planted in our prayer garden, but when I went out to see them, I’m wondering “where is it?”  Turns out it’s just a couple little baby plants so far, just starting their vining up the trellis, but I hear it grows quickly, so we’ll see its beauty pretty soon.  Have you noticed, though, how that which is beautiful doesn’t always start out or seem that way?  The story of the Ugly Duckling immediately comes to mind, and every year I put in a garden and see the raw dirt through my sweat and sore muscles, I start to wonder.  But look what comes of it!

Sure, there’s the care and upkeep that’s always needed, but it’s more than a fair trade for being able to bring and share beauty.  Wouldn’t the world be a better place if each of us could find some way to bring a little more beauty to those around us each day?  It’s a good thing beauty comes in so many forms, and not just flowers, so not everybody needs to have green thumbs or an artist’s palette to bring out beauty each day.  I love it when I get to a restaurant and ask to include the server in prayer—it almost always brings out a smile.  And even for those who aren’t praying people, it’s a little way to share the beauty of showing that someone cares—and it takes neither a green thumb nor any paint!

Bringing beauty to someone’s day isn’t just a good thing, it’s a God thing—when St. Paul calls on us to build one another up, and when Jesus says to love your neighbor—aren’t these ways to bring beauty into someone’s day?  So not just as a good thing, but as a God thing, pray about how you, with your giftedness, even with your limitations, how can you bring beauty into someone’s life TODAY?  I’m always amazed, even when I’m talking with someone literally on their deathbed, and see how they bring joy to their caregivers, how people in ALL situations can show a little care and bring a little beauty into others’ lives.

So what’ll it be for you?  Sharing a flower or sharing a smile?  Offering encouragement, or a prayer?  Giving of your resources, or giving of your heart?  Shaping a sculpture, or shaping a soul?  God has gifted even you with a powerful way to bring beauty to the world—put it to good use, and put a smile on even God’s face!

Rev. Jim

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