Unpublished: Beautiful Things

Here are some things people spend time on to make beautiful:

Their bodies (e.g., working out, dieting, tanning).

Their clothing or appearance (e.g., fashion, hair, cosmetics, jewelry).

Their gardens or yard.

Their homes.

The food and meals they cook.

The things they make, create, or construct (e.g., arts, music, hobbies, and craftsmanship from carpentry to knitting).

Their website or blog.

Their singing or musicianship.

Their cars or vehicles.

Events they create or host.

In activities they must perform or execute for work or pleasure.

In speeches, talks or sermons they give.

In things they write.

In short, if you think about it, just about everyone is involved in cultivating beauty of one form or another. If you asked me what I try to make beautiful I'd say to cultivate beautiful ideas. I cultivate ideas, mainly through reading. It's sort of like intellectual gardening.

Jana, my wife, cultivates relationships. As a farmer fertilizes and waters a field Jana nourishes and cultivates her friendships. She calls people, visits with them, checks in on people if they haven't talked in awhile. Where I notice mental dryness and aridity, she notices the social and relational dryness and does what she can to bring rain back into the relationship. Her friendships are like a beautiful English garden.

And I think one can create a beautiful spiritual life as well. I think of someone like Saint Francis in this regard. A saint whose communion with God can simply be described as beautiful.

And, finally, we can act in beautiful ways. We can live a beautiful life cultivated by doing small, beautiful things over and over. Like the woman who anoints Jesus' feet.

"She has done," Jesus says, "a beautiful thing."

--a part of an unpublished post

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