I Hate Beautiful Things (But not really.)

Beautiful was never important to me.

I know that’s a strange, strange thing to say but I’ve only really begun to understand the truth of it.

Whenever I was shopping with a friend, I almost had to feign interest EVERY SINGLE TIME.  The question, “But do you LOVE it?” has always been so confusing.  How can one LOVE a sweater? A new pair of jeans? I never understood.  I have never felt that way about a single article of clothing I’ve ever seen.  Which is probably why I’ve never owned very many.

I can count on my hand the times I blow-dried my hair or applied make-up…….in high school.  And college.  And the last three years of motherhood.

Upon meeting people, I never remember their faces but their voices and names are embroiled on my brain for decades.

The only other class in high school that gave me anxiety aside from Gym (haha) was Art.

I’ve zero interest in visual artistic expression.  There.  I said it.  I just never understood it.  My patient husband gently guided my hand through the Louvre and only giggling once when I had to ask why the statue with no head or arms and really bizarre wings was the center of attention.  I cannot express myself that way, and therefore, the expression is foreign to me.  Almost wrong.  Like putting mayonnaise on a peanut butter sandwich.  Where are the WORDS to explain what one has meant by these giants things I don’t understand ?!?!?!

I have never been tidy.  To clarify- this not does mean my house is dirty.  It’s just unkept.  Most of the time.  A little three year old girl with a penchant for tiaras and high heels might have a little something to do with that now, but she is not responsible for my natural habit of tossing pants on the floor, or leaving books all over the place with their binding bending to hold my place.

After spending some time ruminating on the subject in order to figure out what my problem was, I have deduced things to the following.  In my warped, Baptist-guilted, legalistically inclined brain, Beauty equals frivolity and vanity, luxury at it’s finest, which makes it off limits.  No I cannot allow myself to love those boots because that’s ridiculously selfish.  No I cannot enjoy the scent of that candle, the look of that flower, the feeling of that painting because it insights something pleasurable and that MUST BE BAD.  Whoa.  Have people always warped Gods gifts this way?

Words are certain.  Steadfast.  Unyielding.  Visual beauty is something different entirely.  It flits from person to person like a bird, changing feathers as it goes.  No one sees it the same way.  That is terrifying to me.

Which is probably why I’ve been married for 9 years and still have never redone our bedroom to look like anything other than a cluttered nun’s room.

Why I don’t own a single painting.

Or a single pair of boots I, gasp, love.

But, God would never have made things that were beautiful if I wasn’t supposed to find joy in them.  Find HIM in them.  Because He is Beauty.  He is joy.

Someday I’m going to grow up and remember only the true things about God’s character and not get caught up in my own hang-ups.

Until then, I’m just going to take it one step at a time.

Let’s start with the boots.


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