Friday, May 07, 2010

Thoughts on Beauty

I just found this, somehow still saved as a draft, though I wrote it back in January of last year. I know we are now in Spring, but I wanted to publish it because I think it's a meaningful reflection for any time!

My little brother and I ran an errand a perfect wonderland. Snow, falling thickly yet gently, is blanketing the world. Such a sight never ceases to move me to joyous wonder.

Pausing to watch the millions of glittering flakes waft under street lights, I couldn't help but exclaim to David, "Oh, it's marvelously beautiful!".

He's 11, but has already heard enough drivers talking to know what comes along with this beauty. "Yes, but it's dangerous," he piped from the back seat.

And a response came to me, immediately and reflectively. "But all beauty comes with some danger, David."

...Particularly the beauty of femininity. One of the many quotes which struck me deeply from Dr. Alice von Hildebrand's The Privilege of Being a Woman was this:

“The power that women can wield over men is great indeed. If they pursue their own selfish aims, women are Satan’s slaves. If they put their charm at God’s service, they are God’s great allies.” (emphasis hers)

It is precisely because of the value, the power of beauty that it comes with danger. In my interactions with girls and ladies young and old, the bestowing of beauty as a gift on our sex is more and more apparent to me. But the world works it hardest to train us to misuse and abuse this gift. We are told to be beautiful for our own happiness, our own success, our own fullfillment, our own benefit. And yet, Dr. von Hildebrand warns us quite clearly about such selfishness and misuse of power.

The beauty itself is not the problem. Just as the snow itself is not the problem! The danger comes with our response. If I throw caution to the wind and drive without care on slippery roads, sure danger awaits — for me and for others. If I throw prudence to the wind and aspire for beauty without care for its essence, its Source and Giver, sure danger awaits — for me and for others.

Indeed, beauty it is both a gift and a calling from the Creater to His daughters. We are called to manifest to the world a glimpse of His perfect, radiant beauty. The physical should be only a mirror of the interior, timelessly captivating beauty of a pure, servant heart.

Let us be ever-mindful of this marvelous gift and high calling, and careful of the danger that comes with it!


Victoria Rose said...

Thanks for posting this, Claire! I really need to get some of Dr. von Hildebrand's books. *goes off to make wish-list*


Anonymous said...

Oh, I've never thought of it like that before! Thank you so much for posting this, Claire! I so appreciated reading it. You are a very gifted writer - thank you for using your talent to honor and glorify the Lord Jesus!

Claire said...

You are very welcome, ladies. Glad you enjoyed it! :)