Saturday, July 22, 2017

Hidden Beauty

"And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us..." (Psalm 90:17)

I glanced at the small, lead crystal sculpture only momentarily before turning to look at something else. It was lovely, but it was only one of many beautiful items in the shop. This was several years after my husband and I had moved to Northern California, and were on a one-day outing, browsing in some of the local, old gold mining towns nearby. Much of their business comes from tourism, and although we've been here for many years now, we still enjoy joining their ranks from time to time to soak up some of the rich history preserved here.

We were in a tiny town (pop: 150) with the ambitious name of Amador City, and had stepped for a moment into a shop selling dried and silk flowers, as well as delicate pieces of decor. And it was here, when I was giving the crystal pieces merely a perfunctory glance, that I was suddenly stopped by the proprietor, who said, brightly, “Oh, wait; you have to see them with the light behind them!” Then she picked up the little figurine I had admired before and sat it down in front of a little night-light that she turned on. With a quick intake of breath, I exclaimed, “Oh, what a difference!” For now the crystal had taken on a myriad of colors that shone with the brilliance of a kaleidoscope. And, like a kaleidoscope, the colors changed as she turned the crystal first one way then another. The colors were there all the time, but it took the addition of the light to bring it out.

I couldn't help but think that God was reminding me that without Him, the Light of the World, my own life lacks all color and brilliance. My personality may be pleasing, but without the Spirit of God, there is no power to touch lives; I may be witty, but without God, I cannot hope to bring real joy to a drooping head; and when I sing, they may say it is “as a lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice” (Ezek. 33:32), but without the sweet breath of Heaven, it will be just as ineffective as the prophet’s message.

The popular song says, “You Light Up My Life,” but, as far as I’m concerned, it’s the Lord Jesus Christ who lightens up my life. Without Him, life would a dull, murky gray; but with Him, my life takes on the color and hue of a brilliant sunset. If there is any brightness to my presence, it is only a reflection of Him, and I sing with the songwriter:

Oh, to reflect His grace, causing the world to see,
Love that will glow, till others shall know,
Jesus, revealed in me.   (Rodney “Gypsy” Smith  1860-1947)