Awakening to Beauty

Balthasar van der Ast Stilleven met schelpen en herfststijloos 1593-1657

It’s that time of year when our senses awaken again to beauty. Though winter has its own beauty, there is just something about spring. New life, new growth and warmth, all come together to somehow make us feel alive again after the long, dark and cold days of winter. Every time I see redbuds coming out in the spring, I cannot help but think of my mother.
She adored redbuds and every spring her enthusiasm never waned for their bright beauty and the vernal hope of spring. That woman loved beauty. Her entire life, she loved beauty. Even when she was in the middle of her battle with Alzheimer’s, she was still awake to the beauty around her. Whether it was singing a hymn, or filling her home with little trinkets that she found lovely even in her confused state… she was constantly surrounding herself with beauty even at the end.

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Figures of Christ – Echoes of the Divine in Literature and Film

The Bible can be understood, in part, as the great overarching narrative of humanity’s relationship with God. It is a story in four acts: Creation, Fall, Redemption and Restoration. Woven throughout the testaments is the figure of Christ.

The figure of Christ, regardless of our understanding or knowledge of the biblical narrative, has permeated the worldview of mankind since well before recorded history. Somehow, deep in the very essence of our being we long for Messiah. We look for Him in nature and in human relationships. We see there merely echoes and fingerprints. Most of all we look for Him in our own narratives, the stories we tell ourselves and each other that help us make sense of the world, and in the stories we create to merely entertain. Joseph Campbell reduces these echoes to single idea, a hero with a thousand faces.

The Foundling House has asked a few of our readers and contributors to share their own favorite Christ figures, or Christ images from literature, film and comics. Here are some of our picks.

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Finding Wonder Every Day

As I was going through a sort of hard time in my life a little while back, I looked at the world around me, and wondered how people could be smiling and laughing and enjoying life, when my future looked so bleak. I had worked so hard to get to my job and the place where I was. But it turned out I didn’t like that place I was in, and the only way I saw to deal with it was to do just that: deal with it. Get through the days, feeling as little as possible, and trying not to think about my disappointment in the life I was living.

Working in such a secular environment, it puzzled me even further that if I was the one who was a Christian and had the light of Christ inside me, why was it that these people who didn’t know Christ had this ability to enjoy their lives so much more than I felt I was capable of? Well maybe they liked where they were. Or maybe they didn’t. But it is more probable that I was ignoring everything the Bible has ever told me about embracing life for the short time I am in this world.

You see, the Bible calls us to so much more than just getting through every day, like I was doing. We are called by the spirit to live in the moment and participate in life, because we never know what will be coming next, and we have no hope to truly control what does.

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