Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Everywhere I go I see You

I think that a person's surroundings are significant.

My apartment and office have not been the cleanest lately. This is nothing new; it's really just a reflection that I'm busy. I tend to clean in big bursts rather than little by little over time. I don't like that about myself, but it has just been a fact of my reality. I love my apartment (or pre-house if you will). However, when I'm busy and it's messy I don't get to enjoy it as much. It becomes that place that I sleep and keep soda cold.

While it seems superficial, I am starting to think about how the aesthetics of our surroundings can be a part of our personal worship. I had always thought of decorating my living/working spaces with things like functionality or personal expression in mind. People definitely abuse aesthetics - by using them to impress others or to only entertain themselves.

However, I was really humbled by reading a response to a survey from a woman from church about how visual art impacts her.

She wrote:
"Right now God is using incredible visual art: springtime in central Illinois, to illustrate His power, His beauty, creativity, resurrection, extravagant giving and many other themes. We’re made in God’s image and I think it’s natural and appropriate for us to do the same things as He does....as well as we can, of course, which certainly doesn’t compare to how well He does it.

I have art in my house that makes me think of God. I try to make my home, both in the areas where I have intentional worship times and where I just live, attractive just as God has made our home, the world, attractive. Elizabeth Goudge mentions in many of her books the need for us to have beautiful things and surroundings: they need not be expensive or luxurious, but they need to lift our souls upward. I like to keep the windows open so I can see creation and that helps me worship. The bird feeder attracts many birds...sometimes it seems I’m living inside mobile art, like a snowglobe as big as the universe."

I don't know how that affects you, but to me it seems pretty profound. I want to continue to have my eyes drawn upward to God. Part of that is by raising my awareness to how He's already revealed Himself all around me (and yes, the nicer weather helps make that easier). And another part of that is placing things around me that point me back to Him.

What helps you look upward?


Duchess said...


that's all I got

Bethany said...

See, Kara, I think that some of the things you've done in helping design worship space have been pretty amazing. Like the artwork for the footwashing area last weekend...

But yea, "wow" was the first thing I said after reading her response too.

Duchess said...


that means a lot...

more than I can express here.

Mr. W. Arfarin said...

I think there are these kind of glowing moments in life that help me realize God is so amazingly real. Like when I see kids playing together outside. Or when I see little league baseball team. Or a married couple walking hand-in-hand. These are good and beautiful things that remind me to be grateful to the one who gave me eyes to see, ears to hear, and a nose to smell.