I saw Beauty yesterday on a late afternoon walk with the family.
The water is so blue it sparkles, and Cancan is at his best, fist-pumping the air with one hand while he cheers himself on – and rallies the crowd to do the same. The HBH (Hot Black Husband) is tireless as he runs beside his son and Frodo warms the hearts of strangers everywhere as he raises a sticky hand in hello.
And sometimes – although it’s usually pretty rare these days – I actually capture glimpses of Beauty. But most of the time I don’t. Most of the time I’m so caught up in the moment (or so I hope), I forget to pull out my camera.
But still it makes me wonder, where else have I seen Beauty – who, to me, is Christ – in the most unlikely of places?
I saw it this weekend in the college students who chased our boys up and down slides this weekend on a rickety old playground. I got to speak to a group of them up in the Sierra Nevadas, and partake of their fully-alive selves, their questioning selves, their hurting selves. And because these were the words I preached and pleaded and hoped to be true, it made me open my eyes and ears in a new way, all over again.
I saw it when I put a plea on Facebook for people to buy raffle tickets for Cancan’s non-profit school …and y’all came thru. Sometimes this parenting thing can feel like an island, but after a Friday like that, I am reminded of my village. Because what you didn’t see is that just seconds before, angry and frustrated preschool tears dripped into his hot chocolate. I’d wanted to throw his strawberry jam toast across the room, but with each ticket purchased, my spirit lifted.
Funny how that happens.
I tasted it last night when I took a bite of tom kha kai soup from a Thai-Laotian restaurant nearby. Real chunks of coconut floated around in the steaming liquid and I just about keeled over in happiness.
I feel it, past and present, when my fingers have a story to tell, when I sit down at my laptop and can’t stop the typing.
And I experience it when last-minute texts come in, when friends pop by for a visit and an unexplainable three-year-old camaraderie begins to happen with the littles:
I see it when Frodo takes one, two, five steps across the room, and I see it when the HBH cleans the kitchen tirelessly, effortlessly, just because.
I breathe it in on walks with old friends, when you don’t have to explain yourself because they already know – and accept, and love – the back story. And I exhale it out again when new friends come across my paths, when we find that commonality and begin to cling to it because this is what we share.
For this Beauty, it is with us and in us, before us and behind us, above us and below us. It’s to our right and to our left, and it’s with us when we lie down and when we sit down and when we arise. It’s in the heart of every man who thinks of us, just as it’s in the mouth of everyone who speaks of us, or so we hope. It’s in the eyes of all who see us and the ears of all who hear us.
And just as St. Patrick prayed, so I too lean into this Beauty today.
Might it be the same for you?
So, where are you finding Beauty in the most unlikely of places? I’d love to hear …so, share a story!0