The saying, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” is reported to have first appeared in 3rd century Greek writings, and has found its way into many famous writings throughout history, including the writings of Shakespeare.
The concept of the phrase basically means that when someone finds something attractive, it is not necessarily that that thing has a natural beauty, but it is the way that that person views that object which defines its beauty. That is why sometimes you might see something that you think is so beautiful it even takes your breath away, and you point it out to a friend, but they seem not to be as affected as you were... they just didn’t see it in the same way!
OK, let me tell you a story... there once was a young man in his early 20s who I shall call Peter... Now Peter was one of those young men that you often see around the mall, you know, those young men that are always slumped against the wall, they never smile, and they always look like they just want to vandalise or bust-up something. This was just the kind of young man Peter was...
Then one day Peter’s mates asked him if he wanted to do something fun for a change.
“What is there fun to do?” Peter said in a care-free tone.
“We’re gonna get really wasted [drunk] and we’re gonna clime up the statue in the town square”
“Sounds kind of lame” Pater said “but I guess it’s better than just staying here all the time”
So that’s exactly what they did, and as a viewer on, I must say it certainly did look like they were enjoying their fun. But something terrible happened, something that changed Peter’s life forever... as he was climbing that great statue in the town square, he slipped and fell, and falling he fell on something really sharp, and he felt like there was something sticking into his eyes. Peter’s friends helped him to his feet, but Peter asked them why it was so dark... yes, you know what happened, Peter had become blind.
Peter was never the same after that, he would never be able to hang out with his friends, in fact he didn’t really have any friends at all except for relatives that would help him to eat his dinner, and even then he felt like he was an unnecessary burden on them. I reckon that there were times that Peter wished that he had used the days that he had sight in some better way rather than wasting it all...
But the point of my story today, isn’t to tell you not to waste your time and not to go drinking, although it goes without saying that you shouldn’t really do either...
So let’s carry on Peter’s story a bit longer:
Peter spent a few years trying to cope with his blindness, learning ways of looking after himself so that he wasn’t so much a burden upon his family, although they still continued to visit on the odd occasion, apparently he also learned how to read Braille.
Then one day he was informed that there was a new cure for certain types of blindness, and he resolved to get some more information.
The information was found, much to Peter’s joy, that it could possibly work on him, although there was no guarantee that is would work. But Peter felt that it was well worth the try, for what would he not do to get his sight back? So he booked an appointment with the surgeon.
There was much time spend in waiting and much anxiety, but the day finally came for the dreaded operation. And to cut a long story short, the operation was a success and, to an extent, Peter had regained his vision, he could see again.
Peter was a new man; he saw the world in a completely different light. He woke up looking at the young nurse that was looking after him; he thought she must be the most beautiful girl in the whole world. Then another nurse walks in asking how he feels, and he thinks that she too looks so beautiful, surpassing the beauty of all other women.
Soon Peter is taken outside, and he sees the trees, the flowers, the blue sky, he sees people with smiling faces, and he feels like he has died and gone to Heaven. He even asked the nurse, “Am I in Heaven?”
You see what’s happened, all has been dark to Peter, but now he sees the light and everything looks beautiful!
Can I remind you of what the Hymn writer John Newton said in his well-known hymn:
Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind but now I see.
The blindness that John Newton here is talking about is the time when we were non-Christian; we walked around in darkness, not knowing that there was a God in Heaven that saves. And then when God saves us we see all the beauty of that salvation, and then there is no face like the beautiful face of the Lord!
Now, if you are sad, I want to tell you that you are sinning!
That’s a bold statement to make, I know, but it is true...
It is a sin to be sad!
Firstly, I would like to clarify what I mean by sad. I do not mean that Christians will always be going around laughing and telling jokes... indeed there are times when that is most definitely inappropriate, for instance, when we are talking about the death of Christ, NEVER make a joke about something as solemn as that. You can be happy and solemn at the same time!
Philippians 4:4 says: Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.
Alway means all the time, and to quote a fellow preacher: “’All’ means all, and that’s all ‘All’ means”
And if you have really been saved from eternal condemnation what really is there to be sad about?
So to rejoice in the Lord all the time means that we are always thinking in the back of our mind that we are so pleased about being saved, and that we should always be happy about that. And when someone is talking about the death of the Lord we solemnly think about that, but always keep in mind that there is always a silver lining to every cloud!
I beg you to try out this new lifestyle: give it some time, and come back to me and tell me how you have gotten on... I assure you, that you will come back to me like Peter in our story, telling me how you are looking at the world now that you have sight. Isn’t it beautiful? My God that saved my soul from Hell is that same God who made the beautiful flowers, the trees, the birds and the beasts!
Life really is beautiful when you have God in your life and controlling all your thoughts.
Don’t you think that maybe this change of lifestyle might do much more for people suffering from depression than all those anti-depressants that they are taking?
Recently I have been very interested in a girl; I think that she is the most beautiful girl in the world. I have never seen a girl in that way before. You know why? Because she was made in the image of God, and I am seeing God handiwork there.
Have you ever received something hand made by someone very close to you? Is that not one of your most prized possessions? If you then gave it to a complete stranger, would it mean so much to them? No it wouldn’t, because they have no care for the person that made it. That’s why we as Christians will see all the beauty of creation and love it, and yet a non-Christian would care nothing for it because they know not the Lord who created all things.
I love my life, my life is beautiful. Don’t believe those people that say Christians don’t have fun, because those people don’t even know the meaning of fun. Christians don’t have a horrible life now, so that they can have a nice afterlife. Christians have the best possible life now, followed by an absolutely perfect afterlife.
And that after life will be amazing! I’m not just going to be content looking at the beautiful things in the world that remind me of God... I am going to be able to look on the face of The Lord throughout eternity and admire the beauty of redeeming grace.
My hope and prayer is that you will all become beautiful people who joy in the beauty of an ever merciful, compassionate, redeeming God!
God bless you all!