Winding and twisting my old beat up van through the city, I drove as if on auto pilot. The gray streets and monochromatic urban scape left me dull. Heart weary and questioning the future, thoughts bounced around hitting the corners of my brain like it was the concrete sound barrier lining the beltway. A song started to play on the radio. Half listening, the words “You’re beautiful. You are made for so much more than all of this.” intrigued me. Beautiful was not the first descriptor that came to my mind as I thought of myself or anything around me. As the melody continued, the lyrics gripped my heart and mind. The phrases reverberated…you were made for more than this…more than asphalt roads and concrete walls…more than old vans and new cars…more than the sum of what you do…more than the worries of the future…more than the regrets of the past…more than the pressures of this day…you are treasured. you are sacred. you are His.You’re beautiful.
Stirred in spirit the immediate question sprang to mind: For what, then, was I meant?
St. Irenaeus said: “The glory of God is man fully alive, and the life of man is the vision of God.” But what does it look like when I’m fully alive? When you’re fully alive? When God’s glory manifests itself through us? Will we shoot little moonbeams from our fingertips? Will we feel something different? Does it happen once then stay that way all the time or is it rare? Do we always know when we’re fully alive?
Pondering my life, there are a few instances when all my senses were heightened, my purpose seemed clear and the promise of eternity permeated my being. Like lazing in the heat of a fully exposed south window on a cold winters day, His glory-His Life radiates from the inside out. It’s moments when clarity, peace and a deep sense of rightness rule my being. You’d think those would all be associated with positive, happy feelings. But I’m pretty sure the point isn’t the feelings. As I think about those fully alive moments, they’re not always particularly good times surrounded with warm fuzzies. Some moments are delightful like Megan’s wedding or a friends surprise party just a few weeks ago. But others came in the midst of deep suffering and intense pain during times of great loss. One moment in particular, I wasn’t even actually involved but witnessed the Holy Spirit work through someone else in a way plain, clear and powerful yet so intimate that I felt voyeuristic being there. Even though it wasn’t pleasant, it was sacred, infused with the Holy.
We’re meant for Holy moments. Moments of personal surrender. Moments of a usefulness beyond our ability. Moments in the midst of both the mundane and the spectacular. Moments of the sacred cutting through the secular like a knife through butter. Not always grand or happy or even noticeable. But in those moments God’s glory and power seems revealed through His not-so-holy created ones. And we see His beauty and sense our own beauty in ways intangible and at times unimaginable and see that we are treasured…sacred…beautiful.
One thing I ask from the LORD,
this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the LORD
and to seek him in his temple.
Will you take a minute and listen to Beautiful by Mercyme?