Understanding beauty is a key to our destiny. It’s a key to becoming both childlike and fulfilling our purpose on the planet.
The ancient Greeks connected beauty to time. One of their words connected to the concept of beautiful was horaios, which meant ‘to be in one’s finest hour.’ Beauty is attached to time because there are seasons and timings involved for something or someone to be in their finest hour. For example, if you pick a piece of fruit at the right time in it’s finest hour then its beauty is shown in the fact that it is perfectly ripe. But pick it a week earlier or a week later and the moment of beauty is not there – it won’t be fully ripe because it has been prematurely picked or it will be decaying because it’s time has passed. For the Greeks, beauty was more about moments.
When people see themselves in the mirror and don’t see beauty, it’s because they are not using the right definition of beauty. We see this when young girls begin to dress like someone who is older, or an older woman dresses like they are younger. There is something unnerving about these, isn’t there? I want to propose it is because we know that someone is living as it were in another hour, and not embracing their own ‘finest hour of beauty’. There is a beauty in a five-year-old girl being herself, and a different kind of beauty in a 95-year-old. Neither are shallow, sexual or temporary.
The worldly definition of beauty is attached to something shallow, physical and temporal. But Jesus is true beauty. We see it at the cross, and his beauty reveals itself at the ugliest moment physically known to mankind. His finest hour was showcased to the world during the horror of the cross.
Exodus 28:2 says, “Make sacred garments for your brother Aaron to give him glory and beauty. Tell all the skilled workers to whom I have given wisdom in such matters, that they are to make garments for Aaron, for his consecration, so he may serve me as priest..’
This connection is stunning. Think about it – making these garments required men and women who have the spirit of wisdom on them, because it is for beauty and glory! Can you see that beauty is important to God and is therefore important in the kingdom? It’s probably even a bigger deal than we even realise! It’s so big, that if we define it wrong we face a problem – as we can see in the world. The skilful workers are the ones who know how to make something that is for glory and beauty. We have kept glory in the church and beauty outside it, but the heart of God is that they should be mixed together. The definition that you place on glory will determine what you expect to encounter in church. If you have a church-based definition of glory you will only encounter it in the church! But God’s glory is the result of him fully expressing himself. There is a whole lot of glory to be encountered out there but we must redefine beauty and redefine glory and marry the two.
Beauty is meant to make our hearts beat faster and to clear up our minds. Beauty is a result of skilled workmanship and it’s very different to the shallow, surface, temporary, sexual definition that the world has unfortunately set upon us.
Beauty is a true gift to us and our goal is to discover our ‘piece’ that is beautiful and that is unique.