Saturday, May 3, 2008

beauty





I need to bring something beautiful into this world. Right now.

1. Today the rays of the sun broke the waves of the ocean in way that made it look not like water, but instead like a divine treasury, a golden irridescence of a transcendent loveliness.

2. We took Sarah, David, and Jeffrie to a fair. Yes, like in the movie Big. There is something almost enchanting about fairs, at least for me. Even the really sketchy ones you can see from I-45...I drive by them and am weirdly enticed by the lights, the way the yellows and reds pierce the night sky. I can't quite pinpoint it exactly but I suppose it's the idea that if there is a carnival in town, the day inherently holds an adventure. It's this place that draws in families, lovers, loners, and connects them by bringing out an anticipation and excitement and curiosity we are too often too grown-up to admit that we harbor. Anyway, so Jeffrie was elated that we were going. The whole way there he sat on Naseem's lap with his head out of the window of the van; I wondered if when the wind hit his face he felt somehow in own little toddler way that he was a part of everything which we passed, the way I feel when I roll the windows down and let the wind race against my fingertips. When we arrived, he was bouncing up and down and laughing, and I saw true joy. It was so beautiful and pure.

3. Naseem and I rode a ferris wheel in a third world country. It was another one of those magic fair moments...I am trying not to sound too cheesy but really. It was so much more priceless than you can imagine. The ferris wheel was all rickety and rusty and made all these loud, unsettling noises but it went fast, like faster than a normal American ferris wheel. Incidentally, those are now wicked lame in comparison, probably because they are actually "safe." Naseem and I were already giddy from being a little nervous (laugh all you want, but seriously, you should have seen this piece of crap) and so as the ride started, as it set itself into a whir of motion, faster and faster, we were laughing so hard and gripping the bar across our laps, while trying not lean against the backs of our seats because they were a bit disconnected from the actual seat itself. We looked down and saw Brandon and Debra, and Brandon was smiling and they were laughing together. There it was again: joy. We shouted at them, laughing too, right along with them, we called their names but they never heard us. It didn't matter. We were all joined together. Then Naseem called out look, and I turned around, and it was Gardena. She was smiling too and she waved at us, and then we were all off again, as the rickety old machine sent us flying, flying over the fairgrounds. It was a connection: I've mentioned it before but it was the feeling of being separate people, coupled in pairs in these trashy little cars, rusty with the paint peeling, but all bound together by something much more infinite. We loomed over Roatan and saw the dark jungle unfolding beneath and to the sides of us and we knew that just on the other side of this road was the ocean and then I was overcome by a feeling of holiness and a feeling of love so immanent that I could wrap it around me, and around Debra and Naseem and Brandon and Gardena.

So that's it. Three beautiful things tonight.

Peace,
Alison

5 comments:

Nate said...

trancendence is THE most beautiful thing i have ever experienced, thanks for sharing a glimpse

Anonymous said...

Brandon is capable of smiling? The power of grace...

ryansupak said...

This is more of a question for thinking about than for answering, but how would you connect the joy and beauty of those events, to Jesus, salvation, and the Bible?

rs

Matt Davis said...

Ryan, do you mind if I have a go at that one?

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come so that they may have life, and may have it abundantly." - John 10:10

"Not a long life but a full one like Yours, Lord Jesus.” - Jim Elliot

How we connect the joys and beauties of such events is, I think, entirely connected to Jesus, salvation, the Bible. Joy and beauty carry this ancillary weight of salvation perhaps even to the extent of saying some of us wear rose-colored glasses. I probably get accused of staring at clouds too much.

It isn't joy experienced in and of itself -- that is to say, without some foundation other than "joy itself", which seems momentary and reflective rather than being itself substantive -- but it is an available joy that has a firm foundation of hope, built on Jesus. It's a moment in the desert when you finally see the next town; far off but still discernible from the current landscape. It's being engaged to be married.

I think I appreciate the small things in life far more than I ever did before. I look around at the world that we are currently in, understanding the tension that exists between the "now" and the "soon to be now", and have confident hope that it will all be put right. And, having experienced and continuing to experience the joy of salvation, I can experience some of the "soon to be now" now. Jesus, I think, states that there is a fullness of life that is available for us to experience.

And while it seems that right now such a fullness would include also a fullness of all of the current life complete with tragedy, it also includes a fullness of joy that is available for all in Christ Jesus to experience. Life begins to look much more like a comedy than a tragedy. And how do many comedies end? In marriage. And how will this life end? With Jesus consummating His marriage of heaven and earth, uniting Himself with His Church.

Jason Raschen said...

Cool post.

Did you see Ben Hawkins at the carnival?

I bet you two laugh like a couple of girls.

Oh, and yes you are cheesy but in a good way.