I was surprised by the tear on my cheek. I was excited about that night. My wife and I were going to see a friend who is a professional singer. I was looking forward to hearing her in concert. We went to support our friend and to hear her beautiful singing. It was a night of Spirituals and Arias in English and French and a few other languages. It was a night I remember because it stirred something within me, something within my soul.
Sometime during that concert I noticed that surprising tear. A single tear at first and then more that followed. Why was I crying in the middle of a concert?
That evening I wrote in my journal, “My Soul Needs Beauty.” I shut the journal and went on with my life without much further reflection until recently. I was perusing old journals, I found that line and remembered the night I recognized the deep need for beauty in my soul.
Why did my soul need beauty? As I look back, it was a time in my life where I was going through some hard stuff, a rough transition out of one job only to find myself working an unfulfilling job in a bleak work environment. In the midst of this desolate feeling, I discovered through an experience of beauty that my soul needed, longed for, and craved… beauty.
I look back and find that in times of great joy and fulfilment, my soul still relishes experiences of beauty. As I look at my creative work, I can recognize the times when my work reflects the longing of my soul to experience beauty as well as the times when my soul desires to express and share beauty with others.
In this disruptive and uncertain time, what experience of beauty does your soul need?
How can you experience, cultivate, and share beauty?
Special thanks to our guest blogger Shawn Smith for both the blog and the photo. Shawn is a Spiritual director, worship leader, musician, and photographer. He is a frequent collaborator at Horizons and is particularly interested in the intersection of worship, spiritual formation, and the arts as pathways to intimacy with Christ. Thanks for sharing this with us, Shawn!