Beautiful Creatures

I cannot get away from the idea that life is an expression of God’s beauty and that his most beautiful work is our very lives. It continues to cast reflections upon my heart and mind as I go about my day.

I made mention of this briefly in my last post, but I must elaborate. Two weeks ago, the thought struck me that the words I write are sacred, but I realize now it goes much deeper: Everything I do is sacred. All that I say and do matters: All that you say and do matters. This is because, from Heaven’s perspective, all things matter.

Every star in the Universe is known by name. The very number of hairs on your head are numbered. Every tear you shed is collected by God; every thought you think is known before it is said. And you and I: We were created to be a reflection of His beauty.

I really hope to convey this idea without it becoming in the minds of my readers yet another “have to” in the course of life. We do not “have to” find a way to reflect God’s beauty; this essay is not a “have to” lesson.

With the events that have transpired in my life in the past several weeks, I realize I am way beyond “have to.” I am at the very heart of “need,” with an occasional wandering into “want” and “desire.” “Have to” is the farthest thing from my mind right now.

Which — if you ask me — is a very, very good thing. And I wish the same for you. For there is something precious about life that has nothing — and I mean nothing — to do with “have to.” Life, if you are willing to accept it, has everything to do with “need”, “want” and “desire.” That is, It is about what we, as human beings, ultimately need. And more and more I realize it is about coming before God and pouring our hearts out before Him with all that we want and desire. We were simply not created for obligation; we were created for passion.

Jesus was asked, “What is the greatest commandment?” And he answered, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22). The interesting thing about this commandment that we often overlook is that it is absolutely impossible to fulfill it by adopting a life of obligation. I cannot oblige my way into love. I can only fall in love.

And when I fall in love, I am not thinking about “have to” at all. I am thinking about another person, and how I can lay down my life for that person. I am thinking about spending every moment with that person. I am thinking about opening my heart wide, coming to know them just as I wish to be known. This is love.

So when I think about the fact that everything you and I say and do matters and and that we were created to be a reflection of His beauty, I am not thinking about obligation; I am thinking about love. I am thinking about being loved, and being in love. And I am thinking how that is possible with God because of Jesus demonstrating to us the greatest act of love the world has ever known.

That by humbling himself and becoming flesh and willingly taking all my sins upon Himself — taking my place to die on a Cross that I might be found innocent before God the Father — He demonstrated a love so profound that every other expression of love we see in this life is but a dim reflection.

I cannot help but think of the woman in the Bible who poured out an alabaster jar of precious perfume upon Jesus’ head and washed his feet with her tears. Professor Brian S. Chan of Biola University is quick to point out three things Jesus says in response to this. He says, first of all, that this woman has done this in preparation for His burial. He also says that wherever the Gospel is preached, what she has done will also be told. Most importantly, He says this woman has done a beautiful thing.

When we are in love, we are inclined to do beautiful things. And if I think, “I am afraid I am not in love with God,” then I must recognize this is not a deficiency but an opportunity. For we love by first being loved. “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4). We love by coming to know the God who is love, whose love is unfathomable, whose mercy is inexhaustible. We love not by trying to love but by falling in love.

And when we do, we cannot help but love in return. We become beautiful creatures. And though it may not be our goal, the world takes notice.


Photo by Xuan Nguyen on Unsplash

The Christian Soul: Mindfulness

This is our final essay in the series The Christian Soul. Look forward to our new series on The Christian Mind, coming soon 🙂


mindfulness:  noun. The practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis; also such a state of awareness. Continue reading “The Christian Soul: Mindfulness”

The Christian Soul: Miracles

I doubt there are many believers in Jesus who have not experienced at least one miracle in this life. 

For me, there was the time when my sister was sent to the hospital because she was hemorrhaging internally. The doctors could not stop the bleeding, and things were becoming critical. My parents called for the priest to administer the Prayer for the Sick. Which, if you know anything about Catholic doctrine, you know is the sacrament you often receive just before death. Moments after the priest prayed, however, the bleeding inexplicably stopped.

Continue reading “The Christian Soul: Miracles”

The Christian Soul: The Devil

When I was young, my mother received a knock at the door one Saturday morning. It was the neighbor’s kid who could not have been more than four years old. “Do you know the Debo?” he asked. Puzzled, my mother asked, “Who?” “You know,” the small boy continued, putting his fingers to his head in the form of horns. “The Debo!”

Thus began my first encounter with theology in the public square. I thought to myself this neighbor kid was much too young to be worrying about the Devil. And in a way, all of us are. Continue reading “The Christian Soul: The Devil”

The Christian Soul: Goodness

As I argued in my last post, belief in God’s sovereignty is not only Biblical but vital for progressing in the Christian life. Without it, we have no assurance of God’s protection; as a result, both faith and God simply become things we attempt to control to ensure our own safety.

There is, however, a sinister form of belief in God’s sovereignty that we must address before proceeding. It goes something like this:”Everything that happens in my life is a perfect expression of God’s goodness.” In other words, everything that happens is God’s absolute best for me. So if my child dies, for example, it is not an unfortunate event God never intended, but instead a thing God orchestrated for my good, even if I fail to see how good it is.

Continue reading “The Christian Soul: Goodness”