There are poignant times in history when the pain and suffering of existence collide with the unspeakable beauty of art. Moments when artists bear the weight of chaos and confusion with the strength of the tools gifted to them: syllable, symphony, sound. Bridging the barrier of burden, they risk harm, even death, to bring light to darkness and hope to despair.
Ukrainian cellist, Denys Katachevtsev, played his cello amidst burned-out buildings and deserted ruins in his home of Kharkiv. A musical tribute to the heroic city, the beautiful but somber tones of Bach’s “Cello Suite No.5” echoed eerily through the abandoned streets. This same movement was played nearly 20 years earlier by world-renowned cellist, Yo-Yo Ma. The date was September 11, 2002, the occasion was the first anniversary of the 9/11 World Trade Center attack.
These deeply moving moments portray beauty in action. It confronts and contrasts. It fans every part of who we are into a burning flame, bright and bold. Sara Groves, singer, producer, and author, comments on the power and utility of a life lived in every part dedicated to God. She shares, “There is a beauty to the good use of a life, and to the acknowledgment that everything you have and do has a Kingdom purpose.”
Beauty as an attribute of purpose cannot be removed from the context of community. Our destiny always involves the good of others. We don’t grow, change, and mature for our benefit alone. God does these things to equip us to impact and invest in the lives around us. This is a life of significance, a life of significant beauty.
Significant beauty is a beauty that radiates, impacting the lives of others. It is a beauty that begins with God, comes to each one of us as we place our trust in Him, and then flows through us, touching and pouring into the lives of those who come across our path. Unlike surface beauty based on outward appearance, significant beauty comes from inside.
Significant beauty is revealing because it exposes and lays bare our hearts, and God looks at the heart. God’s revealing is about our freedom. It releases us from lesser things that weigh us down and hold us back from walking in our God-given purpose, fully displaying significant beauty. Significant beauty is impacting because it changes our lives and touches the lives of others. Consider a big reveal, the draw is the transformation. Something is seen with fresh eyes and a new perspective. And it’s the work of a team or community to see the good and work together to nurture and reveal it. Significant beauty is priceless. A life of significant beauty is of great value and worthy of our pursuit. As we see significant beauty revealed in our own lives, I believe God’s dream is that we unveil significant beauty in the lives of others.