Like most people, I’ve only ever been able to see photographs of our tiny planet from space. I can only imagine that these photographs pale in comparison to what astronauts are able to see with their own eyes. It must be absolutely beautiful. Some believe that this is how God sees the world, that is, from space. Although God can certainly view the earth from that perspective I believe that he has a much closer view. In fact, he is more zoomed in than most people are comfortable with. In other words, God prefers to look at you just as much as he takes pleasure in looking at the universe he created, if not more. There is no need to squirm, trust me, once we realize just how involved God is within our world and within our lives, the world will begin to take on a whole new perspective. It may even take on an outlook that is quite beautiful.
The focus here is on people, and to be more specific let’s place the focus on beautiful people. First, there is a physical beauty that fades with time and then there is an inner beauty that has the capacity to transcend the physical kind. For example, some people have physical attributes that make them more attractive than others. The popular term is that they are “easy on the eyes.” However, these beautiful people will eventually age and their physical beauty will prove to have no longevity whatsoever. The media loves to portray these so-called beautiful people while they are beautiful and conversely when they are not so attractive anymore – out come the then and now photographs to show just how much they have not aged to consumer liking, which, ironically, is an act of ugliness. So, then, is beauty just a temporary pleasure that some of us get to enjoy for a brief moment in time? Yes, if that is how you define beautiful; however, there is another kind of beauty, which is able to transcend the physical.
Transcendental beauty is harder to recognize than the physical kind. It can manifest itself both within the physically beautiful as well as those that the world often times wrongly judges as physically unattractive. This kind of beauty is made visible in those who practice selfless acts of love. The act of a mother loving her children is beautiful. Mother Teresa of Calcutta is often described as beautiful for her selfless deeds to serve the poor. People who help others battle diseases such as cancer can be considered beautiful, despite the ugliness of the disease. However, the most ultimate example of beauty is found in the person of Jesus Christ, who just happens to be the driving force behind all acts that are good, true and beautiful.
The Bible claims in Genesis 3 that man sinned through disobeying God. God, for the sake of being a perfect God, was then forced to separate himself from man by sending Adam and Eve out of the garden. Now, God being forced to remove human beings from his presence has perhaps caused some to conclude that God is no longer involved in our lives, as was stated in the opening of this writing. However, this is not the case at all. John 3:16 states the following, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (NIV). Furthermore, it states in the first epistle of John that this Jesus is the atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 2:2 NIV). This shows that God is fully involved in our lives because Jesus, the son of God was both fully human and fully God at the same time, which means that God was with us – Immanuel. This should lead one to ask the question, what exactly makes this beautiful?
Jesus Christ, or God the son, “made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross!” (Phil. 2:7-8 NIV). This selfless act of substitutional sacrifice, remember Jesus was perfect in every way, was made for you and I. If that isn’t the ultimate example of beauty, then I challenge you to top it. Wait! It doesn’t end there.
Recall, in the introduction the claim that God takes pleasure in looking at you just as much as he enjoys looking at the rest of his creation. When we accept Jesus Christ as lord and savior over our lives we receive his Spirit. This Holy Spirit indwells within our bodily temples and communicates with our Spirit. In other words: where Jesus Christ was God with us – the Holy Spirit is God in us. The Holy Spirit guides us and shows us how to be Christ-like. This is the very same Holy Spirit that enabled Jesus to carry out his beautiful sacrifice for us. It is the same Spirit that encouraged Mother Teresa to do all of those beautiful things she did, and it is this Spirit that directs those in Christ to do beautiful things as well. When we accomplish God’s will through the works of his Holy Spirit indwelling within us, it results in God looking upon each of us with great pleasure. Simply put, in God’s eyes, Christians are his beautiful people.
– Kendell Linh Healy