Daily Step – What counts as beautiful?


When I first read this quote attributed to Mary Oliver, I thought first it was speaking about what we create… that we desire to write, draw, sculpt, or build something beautiful and that’s the piece of God in us.

But what if we try and try but can’t create something beautiful?

I thought back to when I was a kid and would draw things or write things and instantly feel like they weren’t beautiful enough. I always could point to another’s work around me and say “Look what they did! That’s so beautiful. Why can’t I create like that?”

I still feel that way whenever I put my writing out into the world or even these sketches that I’m doing lately. I wonder if it will be “enough.” Which is kinda silly right? Enough for whom? 

So, at first this quote got to me a little – it made me think “What if the desire to make something beautiful isn’t enough to bring out God inside of me because no matter how hard I try, it just doesn’t seem beautiful enough?”

Then, however, I read the quote again thinking about how my oldest son sees beauty in every plant or animal – even the ones viewed as ugly or weird by most humans. (Like the blob fish or the corpse flower that I’ve written about before).

The lens through which not only my oldest son but children in general look at the world allows them to see beauty and wonder in all sorts of unique places.

It’s a lens I long to still have.

Perhaps that’s what this quote is trying to say or at least what it’s trying to say to me this morning – that the presence of God is inside of us when we desire to make everything beautiful by viewing it through a lens of love.

My prayer this morning is for all of us to see beauty in new and unique places today… even in ourselves.

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