Beautiful Things

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched.  They must be felt with the heart.

~Helen Keller

I have this quote sitting on my desk in a little frame.  A good friend gave it to me for my highschool graduation, and I was thinking about it recently.  It begs the question just what are the best things and the most beautiful ones?  Different people have different definitions, but when I think of the best and most beautiful in life, several pictures leap to mind.

Family: parents with newborns, children running around in the backyard, Thanksgiving dinner with everyone gathered around the table.

Love: not the romantic stuff you see in the movies, but the deep caring you see in an elderly couple who smile at each other all the time, the devotion of a child to the parent he idolizes, the gentle touch of a mother as she cleans up her child’s cuts and bruises.

Peace: the quiet of a tranquil home, the stillness of secluded places where we can rest away from the bustling world.

Joy: radiant faces, full hearts, worshiping lips, dancing feet.

This list is not in the least exhaustive.  Feel free to respond with more pictures and things you think are the best things or most beautiful ones.  The second half of the quote says that the very best things must be felt with the heart.  I actually think that what Helen Keller called the heart is actually our spirit.  Not the Holy Spirit, with a capital “s,” but our own spirit, the part of us that responds to the Spirit and which is our conscience and our sensor to discern between good and evil.

Our spirit does indeed help us know what is the best and most beautiful in life.  For instance, one thing I didn’t list was faith.  Faith is a beautiful thing, seen in the eyes of a child who trusts that her father will be home soon and therefore stands at the window to be ready, or seen in the work of a man who builds a home though the bride has yet to be found (one of my favorite authors is Gene Stratton-Porter, and two of her books have characters like this, The Harvester and Her Father’s Daughter), or seen in the widow who goes about with a smile, serving others until she can rejoin her husband in heaven.  Faith is not something you necessarily see with your eyes, although you may see the evidence of it in someone’s actions.

Faith is sensed much more clearly by your spirit than your mind.  So is love.  So is peace.  So is God.  Now, I’m not saying we have to go “get in touch with our inner selves” or anything  like that.  I’m merely talking about listening to what our spirit and the Holy Spirit have to say about the world and about God who works within and through us.  I think we see much more clearly when we do that.  And we see more beauty.

Explore posts in the same categories: Theological Musings

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3 Comments on “Beautiful Things”

  1. smiley Says:

    This is such a beautiful post! Thank you for sharing it! 🙂

    • Smiley,

      In all the things I listed in the post, I left out the beauty of smiles! This probably isn’t original, but smiles are like windows into our souls. That may be why we smile in response to a smile. I know it always brightens my day to see someone else smiling!

      Thanks so much for your comment!

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