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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Reflecting the beauty of God

"Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us."
                     (Psalm 90:17)

As I begin writing this blog, I feel utterly inadequate to try and capture in words, the beauty and majesty of who God is. All throughout the Bible, God reveals his character and the inspired writers, use terms such as Almighty, Holy, Majestic and many other words to paint a portrait of His character. In Revelation Chapter four, John gets a profound glimpse of the throne of God in heaven.
John describes the One sitting on the throne as "brilliant as gemstones-like jasper and carnelian  And the glow of an emerald circles his throne like a rainbow."
 Words are almost inadequate to describe the power, purity and majesty of God. God is indeed awesome and majestic and beautiful in his character.
The Bible teaches we are created in God's image and because of that, we reflect the attributes of his power and purity in our fallen world. Sin has damaged and distorted that image and yet inspite of that reality, human beings still reflect His character in many wonderful ways.
Recently, I encountered a great example of how we reflect the beauty of God. I have two Iranian friends who are both gifted and talented in painting. Yasamin and Roshanak have displayed on their facebook pages, examples of their watercolor paintings. I was so impressed by the detail and beauty of their work, that I asked if could post them on my Facebook page. They excitedly agreed! Many of my friends who saw their paintings on my page were awestruck at the careful detail and beauty of their work.

When I write my books, I am careful to be accurate in the way I paint with words. Both Yasamin and Roshanak paint beautifully with their brush strokes and are careful to reflect accurately what they see in their mind's eye.
What I found so amazing about their paintings was the choices they both made. Yasmain and Roshanak live in a culture of fear and oppression. They are surrounded by the "ugliness'' of a government that supressses their freedom. Living in Iran is a day to day struggle and despite the ugliness of life, both of their paintings reflect a beauty that captivates the eyes. They both chose to paint the goodness and beauty of life. Yasamin and Roshanak did not allow the darkness and ugliness of their culture to tarnish their creativity. Instead they painted the beauty of life to remind each one of us that despite our circumstances, the goodness and beauty of God continues to shine and quench the darkness.
My Iranian friends are a great example to you and me. We need to take the gifts and abilities that God has given us and shine them brightly into a darkened world of sin. When we do that we are truly reflecting the beauty of God in an ugly world that is desperate for hope and freedom.