31 days of Wedded Beauty – Day 1

31 days

‘There is nothing wrong with the love of Beauty. But Beauty – unless she is wed to something more meaningful – is always superficial’. (The Secret History)

Over the last few years my life has been marked by searching for God in the darkest of places. I know what it is to glimpse God amidst the storm.  Now I sense that season is coming to an end.  A new season is tempting me from the shadows and is whispering of change and colour.  There is grace to be found. There is a new understanding of God waiting to be discovered.

I have felt nudged towards the idea of ‘wedded beauty’ for the last few years. The idea that beauty, when it is partnered with virtue, holds something of ‘life in abundance’ that I am yet to understand.

I have often dismissed beauty as an added extra or unnecessary and I have begun to wonder if I have missed the point of ‘the beautiful’.  In the past I would have required solid evidence and supporting arguments before I was willing to believe that truth and beauty can be cleaved together in an untainted way.  But I am beginning to wonder if there is little room for such rigid thinking (read: cynicism) in the pursuit of beauty.

One of my favourite books is ‘The Secret History’ by Donna Tartt. It is a beautiful and tragic coming of age novel.  It is a dark and shadowed story told with brutal grace.  For me, reading it has always been the journey towards truth in hard and dark places.  One of the recurring themes in ‘The Secret History’ is ‘what is beauty?’  This book has been nudging me towards this idea of ‘what is beauty’ for years. And now seems like a good time to pursue it. I am grateful for a gentle God that started me on this journey amongst Tartt’s familiar and resonate words.

And while this may seem like a strange choice for a 31 day writing challenge, this was the first thing I thought of and I have dwelled on this idea for a long time, so it seems right.

I want to spend the next 31 days pursing beauty. Pursing how beauty can change our lives, how it can reveal truth, how it can bring comfort when nothing else will, how we meet with beauty and how beauty can storm our hearts and minds.  And how, just maybe, God can unleash truth and mercy and abundant life through beauty.

My ‘31 day challenge’ plan is to think about beauty and to ask God to reveal truth and life through this journey.  I want to understand the grace and goodness of God more.

And at the end, I hope to be able to sit comfortably, and with conviction, in agreement or not, with the idea that beauty, unless wedded to something meaningful is always superficial.

Each day I will post on a new idea on this theme and I will link it back to this page. I’d love to hear your thoughts. x

(there is no guarantee that below will be what the end result looks like!)

  1. Intro
  2. Beauty is…
  3. ‘Genuine beauty is always alarming’ – The Secret History
  4. Maybe?
  5. Simple Beauty
  6. Beautiful Things
  7. Naples
  8. I will sit a little longer
  9. The Google Rabbit Warren
  10. A Reprieve
  11. Wedded Beauty Free Write (the journey so far)
  12. Not prepared for this
  13. Quiet Night
  14. The Morning After
  15. Enough for today
  16. I am choosing
  17. I am choosing
  18. I am curious and I am learning
  19. Where there is no beauty
  20. Beauty via SMS
  21. NT Wright and the senior cousins
  22. If I’m honest
  23. Consumer me
  24. And the great artists say…
  25. Beauty according to
  26. Pursuing beauty
  27. For the love of Monet
  28. Beauty according to Fredrick Buechner
  29. Beauty according to Thomas Merton
  30. God in the storm
  31. ….and on…

11 thoughts on “31 days of Wedded Beauty – Day 1

  1. Pingback: Day 31/7 – Naples | measured words

  2. Pingback: Day 31/11 – A Reprieve | measured words

  3. Pingback: Day 31/12 – Wedded Beauty Free Write (the journey so far) | measured words

  4. Pingback: Day 31/12 – Not prepared for this | measured words

  5. Pingback: Day 31/12 – Quiet Night | measured words

  6. Pingback: Day 31/14 – The Morning After | measured words

  7. Pingback: Day 31/16-17 – I am choosing | measured words

  8. Pingback: Day 31/18 – I am curious and I am learning | measured words

  9. Pingback: Day 31/19 – Where there is no beauty | measured words

  10. Pingback: Day 31/20 – Beatuy via SMS | measured words

  11. Pingback: Day 31/21 – NT Wright and the senior cousins | measured words

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