Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Beauty is saving my life

So Sarah Bessey is hosting a synchro-blog on the question "What is saving your life right now?"

Go to www.sarahbessey.com to read the rest of the entries.

I know the answer to "Who has saved your life?"  I know that I am saved.  But this question is different-what is saving your life right now?  What makes you want to go on?  What is helping you to survive?
So for me, in this time of painful transition, in this time of weaving a new life in a new place in our old country...in this time of sacred painful grief as we left our sweet foster son behind in China while he waits for his new family...in this time of great change....the thing that is saving my life is beauty.
It's the beauty of living in this new place where the skies are blue and the view of Mt. Hood is stunning.  If we are in the right place, we can see Mt. St. Helen's too...all flat from when it exploded many years ago.  It's  the beauty of driving up the coast and drinking in the beauty of wild ocean, green plants, fog and moss.  It is deep beauty that brings up deep emotion and that is helping us to heal.

It's the beauty of art and the spare, elegant prose of Makato Fujmura who says this:
I've heard many Christians say, "Why should we care about art and culture when we know that all will be burned up in the coming judgement?  Aren't our souls the only thing that is eternal?  Should we not be focused on saving souls?"  Yes, absolutely we should be concerned about our souls, but to what end our we saved?  The Bible from Genesis to Revelation, notes the Creator God infusing his goodness into creation and then using his children to fulfill creation's purposes.  Those who are called to be the children of God (Romans 80 are to exercise their creative gift to become vessels of God, to partake in the creation of the New Order.  While God does have the power to destroy all that is wicked and sinful, he often chooses to sanctify (as in gold) rather than burn away (as in dross), transforming our works.  As the Bible makes clear that God's desire is that the children of God be sanctified, surprisingly, God will also sanctify our works, so that our works may last beyond Christ's Judgement Day (1 Corinthians 3).  The Bible is filled with this promise of an enduring culture of God.  If we are saved for both the new heaven and the new earth, then we had better begin "storing up treasures" by bringing grace into our ordinary, earthly days. (Quote from Refractions page 145)

Soliloquies:  Inner Castle by Makoto Fujimora.

The beauty of silence is saving my life.   The silence of Revelation 8 when the world is silent in awe for half an hour.  The silence from the Psalter:  Psalm 62 "For God alone, my soul in silence waits, from Him comes my salvation.
The beauty of words is saving my life.  The books that we have gotten off my mother's bookshelves, from library sales, thrift stores and used book stores. I feel like a thirsty man in a desert as I look at all the books I have to read.  I've picked up fiction, poetry, Shakespeare and Henry Nouwen.  I picked up an old copy of the Book of Common Prayer and it's beautiful words for Communion, Weddings, Funerals and more.  It's so    restrained and elegant and true.
Elizabeth Barret Browning wrote.
Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God:
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes.

My shoes are off.


  1. Gorgeous. Love the new site, too btw.

  2. Beautiful, Sandy! And how did I not know that you were here in a new spot? Glad to find out now anyway. (Brian is obsessed with Makoto Fujimara these days.)