Beauty for Life

Our youngest son Seth has gone deep into the world of The Hobbit. Seth reads stories from the shire with feverish energy. He sketches scenes from Middle Earth and regales us with talk of his beloved Dwarves. At every opportunity, Seth ventures into our neighborhood woods (woods he refers to as Rivendell) with his sack of Hobbit wares. He feasts on the score from the movie soundtracks, ticks off every character’s name, reviews minute details from the narrative and explains intricate plot twists and Tolkien lore. Seth’s our Hobbit savant.

All this is more than a boy’s fascination with adventurous play, however. Seth has found a language for his soul. Or maybe this language has found him. A few days ago, Seth was in our backyard, earbuds delivering haunted Hobbit melodies. He paced across the yard, swinging his sword as the music and the crisp air carried him to his distant country. When Seth returned to the house, he told Miska, “You might think this is silly since I’m only a kid. But the music was so beautiful it almost made me cry.”

We all need an encounter with something so beautiful that it carries us to the verge of tears. A landscape or a story, a friendship or a blessing, a dream or a joy. We need beauty, however slight, if we are to truly live. The human spirit can survive without luxury. We can endure ravaging hardship. But wonder, beauty, ineffable joy – these are our necessities.

17 Replies to “Beauty for Life”

  1. Hello,
    I totally agree about the necessity for beauty, that beauty can make one cry. And the Hobbit! I come to that world rather late, and have a child’s delight in it. Recently saw The Hobbit: the Battle of the Five Armies, and was entranced. Some of the beautiful computer graphics, especially of the gold inside the castle in the mountain, were especially haunting. There was much to digest and to think about in that movie for me, still enjoying it in my mind/soul.

    Your son sounds like a treasure and a delight!

  2. Winn,

    Thank you.

    My own son, Lawson, is but 4 and I, too, am witnessing the beauty, the miracle, even…of life. While I may have thought the birth experience was the miracle; God is so much more than a single introductory event…His goodness presents, to us, a gift that continues to give as it unfolds before our eyes.

    Yes, as we watch our precious children develop (child in my case) and learn about their ‘self’ and share (show us) this growth, as your son did with your wife; we are also learning about our own ‘selves’…and about our Father (and our relationship with Him…and each other), who is likely smiling joyously as He watches us learn about who we are and are to become…and share that with Him.

    Again, thank you for sharing that simple, yet profound, proof of God’s miraculous, phenomenal design in us and our need for connection with each other as we share in those miracles!


  3. Thank you, Winn.

    Seth, that is not silly at all. It is honest and true to your soul … something we often learn with years to suppress … sadly. Your dad and mom give others the gift of bringing that honesty back into our lives. You are now part of that as well. Thank you.

    Much love to your family.

    1. Rachel,
      You are so right…our culture is really doing a number on us…perhaps trying to take us away from ourselves and each other and the beauty therein.

  4. I appreciate this,as it is my youngest daughter who has been carried away and enchanted into the land of the Hobbits. To her there is more going on in this epic adventure than the rest of us may realize. She has not missed the wonder and beauty. I hope to see it more through her eyes.

  5. Yes, yes, yes to this! I remember keenly remember the soundtracks that took me far away from the mundane and made everything more magical.

  6. Hello Winn,
    I have been reading your posts for the last two or three month or so. I really enjoyed this one. I was also inspired by your Joy sermon this past Sunday. One of my favorite Joy poems is by Rabindranath Tagore and it is simply titled “Joy”:

    And Joy is Everywhere:
    It is in the Earth’s green covering of grass;
    In the blue serenity of the Sky;
    In the reckless exuberance of Spring;
    In the severe abstinence of grey Winter;
    In the living flesh that animates our bodily frame;
    In the perfect poise of the Human figure, noble and upright;
    In Living;
    In the exercise of all our powers;
    In the acquisition of Knowledge;
    In fighting evils….
    Joy is there

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