Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty,
God shines forth. (Psalm 50:2)
The great thing about birds, is that they often have beautiful things within them. The pale blue of the robin’s egg … the emerald sheen of an emu’s egg … and the lavender and brown blotched vulture egg. I took some creative liberties with the vulture egg I painted for our Easter Egg Hunt puppet show this past Saturday, which is pictured above. But it fit the theme of the puppet show – being beautiful inside. I just got a little extravagant with my colors.
With our observance of Holy Week, we enter the final week of the Lenten season. It is a season that is characterized by interior reflection. An examination of our sinfulness … a call to repentance from disobedient choices … a consideration of the motives that drive us to brokenness and isolation in our lives and relationships. It is the meat and potatoes of this contemplative forty-day pilgrimmage. It is helpful reflection. Because the humility which true repentance invites, makes us more human and more forgiving of the sins we observe in others. And heaven knows, we could use some forgiveness in our modern day culture.
But repentance never implies that there is nothing beautiful within us. Repentance reminds us that the beauty God has placed within us can become overshadowed by sin and arrogance and brokenness. Repentance seeks to clear out the weeds that grow through the cracks in our character, so that the beauty of who we are can be seen and recognized. For real beauty that is appropriately admired and honored leads us back to the Creator who has blessed us with that beauty.
So in your prayer and reflection during this rather severe liturgical week, occasionally ask yourself the question, “Where is the beauty within me?” And … “How can I use that beauty to the glory of God who desires that there be much beauty and grace in the world?” Lent is not about denying the beauty in the world and in your life … it is about spring cleaning … spring cleaning that wipes away the mold of sin and the dust-bunnies of selfishness and the smudges of disobedience. Lent is about seeing the beauty that is within, by stripping away the distractions and the shields we all put up. Lent is about life and growth and vibrancy … after all, the word “Lent” means “spring.”