Our guest blog comes from Sophie Tresidder
Where are you seeing glimmers of beauty in lockdown?
For me, it’s been in the daily walks, seeing the blossom trees and the golden hour light. The total joy of being able to have meals al fresco. I’ve found myself longing for the next opportunity to get outside during isolation. Binging on the US Office deserves a mention too- a different kind of beauty!
What about you?
Maybe it’s the sound of clapping, pots banging and community spirit as NHS workers are celebrated. Or the classic zoom quiz nights. Or fancy dress Fridays with Joe Wicks. Or maybe it’s a sense of solidarity through a conversation with a fellow shopper in the Aldi queue?
Finding beauty in the everyday.
But what about on those grey days when there’s no garden lounging? When loved ones get sick? When the selfishness of others means the vulnerable and elderly are left without basic essentials? Or within ourselves, the countless times we’ve taken our frustrations and disappointments out on the ones closest to us.
In this unprecedented moment in history, there is ugliness in the uncertainty. There is confusion, pain and disappointment as the reality of COVID-19 is realised.
It might be easy to say that beauty is irrelevant during this time. But why is it often that these moments give hope and purpose to the every day?
Why do we still look and long for moments of beauty? How does the Christian story make sense of this?
In the first book of the Bible, Genesis, we see how God brought the world into existence. We see God as creator, bringing life, order and beauty in abundance. He made a world where we can know and experience beauty.
This beauty points to and reflects God, it is intrinsic to his character.
“But what went wrong”, you might be thinking? There is brokenness and pain, disorder and chaos. Especially during COVID-19.
Well later in Genesis we see how humanity rebelled, wanting to assert for themselves what beauty is. The perfection of the garden was ruined. But is that it? Does he abandon them? No, God sent Jesus to bring beauty from disorder. This is why we can still sense and know beauty even when there is pain and suffering. The central claims of Christianity hang on the death and resurrection of Jesus who brings hope, restoration and reconciliation. The people who turned their backs on him can now know God personally. That’s us as well!
And the Christian story is one of hope.
Philosopher Gregory Ganssle puts it like this:
‘Beauty points beyond the realm of our experiences to something more permanent…beauty is not God, but God- the source of all beauty, has instilled a desire for beauty within us. Beauty is a signpost’
Beauty points to something so much better. Beauty points the way home.
Don’t we long for normality to resume, vaccines to be found, for death not to have a hold?
This devastating pandemic has shown us even more how the world isn’t as it should be.
But Jesus promises that one day, the world will be made new. A world with no more pain, no more death, no more tears. Where moments of beauty are not fleeting but permanent. Where we were made for. Home.
Isn’t that the world we all want?
Sophie is married to Tom and is a UCCF Staff Worker in Birmingham and
Worcester. She loves brunch, all things creative, good design and the