Friday, 6 February 2009

Hidden Beauty

This photo of something that looks rather like a decaying cabbage is really a Poplar or Tulip Tree blossom. They tend to develop at the top of the tree and unless you spend a lot of time looking up, you are likely to miss them. This one was blown off in a wind storm in Alabama and photographed by my friend, Hylott.

This next photograph is of the inside of that same blossom! Look how beautiful it is. And all that intricate beauty is seldom seen by anything other than birds, butterflies and ants. Like so many things in creation, the exquisite beauty to be found within is never seen unless there is a windstorm, an earthquake or the opportunity to look through an electron microscope. Why?
I was saying to a friend recently that I believe that God, the ultimate artist, just delights in creating beautiful things whether anyone sees them or not. I know that I seek to create things that are as beautiful as I can make them -- not because I want praise but simply because the desire to create beauty is so strong within me.

I was thinking of how so much that is beautiful in creation is revealed -- through erosion, corrosion, explosions, etc. These would be painful procedures if rocks have feelings (how do we know they don"t?).
I was thinking about this very things when I came across some photos I had collected of the rocks around Petra in Jordon. From the outside, the rocks seem boring -- like dun-coloured camel humps. However, when you look at what is revealed where the water of the centuries has washed the surface away or created an underground cavern, you find amazing beauty.
As you can see above and below this paragraph, time and water have revealed a masterpiece of artistic creation. For centuries, these rocks sat in that semi-desert country unseen by anything other than the creatures who live there and by the creator, Himself.



This symbolism of broken things often revealing hidden beauty can be applied especially to human beings and their search for spiritual meaning and growth. Many years ago as I begin to try to truly submit my will to God, I wrote a song. These comments of mine tonight have brought some of the words to mind. What I remember of it goes like this:
Lord Jesus you have broken my heart,
Just as I asked you to do.
You have broken it open with your nail-scarred hands
to let your sweet fragrance drift through.
Silver is tested in a crucible,
Gold in a furnace is burned,
I chose the cross of my Saviour,
so now like incense I burn, yes I burn,
like sweet incense I burn.

May peace be with you all.

1 comment:

Nanajess said...

Sallie - I think you did succeed indeed with St. Peter - he looks totally discomfited and a little awkward. I like the icon.

I was most struck by the beauty of your fallen flower and the incredible beauty of the rock formations - coupled with the words of your song - it all struck a chord with me. Thanks.