Friday, February 23, 2018

Five Minute Friday: BEAUTY


As I do most Fridays, I'm linking up with the Five Minute Friday community, writing for five minutes on a given prompt. This week's word: BEAUTY.




Many years ago a friend of mine made a cake for a church event. I don't even remember what the event was now -- an anniversary or ordination or something -- but I know she had put a lot of time into the design and lettering, so it was really special. 

The plan was that after the church service everyone was going to come downstairs and the cake would be cut and served. But while the service was going on, the church ladies went ahead and cut the cake and put it on plates so it would be more convenient when everybody came downstairs.

Nobody saw the cake before it was cut except them -- yet they didn't stop and say, "Wait a minute, this is so pretty, we want to be sure everyone sees it before we start cutting it up." And they didn't take a picture of the cake, so no one else got to see it either.

My friend was crushed. Yes, it was "only" a cake -- and I am sure it tasted great and everyone enjoyed it. But it was beautiful too ... yet nobody else got to enjoy the beauty.

Sometimes, like in that instance, beauty goes unseen because someone is thoughtless. But there is also a lot of beauty in the world that goes unseen just because of the way things are.

In his poem "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard,"  Thomas Gray wrote,

"Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness on the desert air."

Plants of all colours and types bloom year after year in unreachable mountain crevices ... thousands of species of fish and plant life, complex and colourful, dwell at the bottom of the sea ... gorgeous mineral crystals form on the insides of caves, in total darkness ... and none of these beautiful things is ever seen by human eyes.

If beauty always has to have a function and a purpose, then none of that makes sense. Why would something unseen have to be beautiful? Flowers and crystals might as well be ugly if no one's going to see them.

But beauty is its own reward. It doesn't have to have a function beyond itself. God created beautiful things, so God must love beauty. (I admit he must have a sense of humour, too, because there are also some pretty weird-looking creatures out there...) 

It's sad that my friend's cake went unseen. But I hope she thinks it was still worthwhile to make it look beautiful. Even if no one ever sees it, beauty is worthwhile. Beauty makes the world a better place.







20 comments:

  1. Love your comment that beauty is worthwhile. It so is. I feel for your friend but at least the people attending remember the beauty that was that cake. Visiting from FMF.#32

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    1. Hi Michelle, thanks so much for coming by. I think I have a Michelle on both sides of me in the linkup today! I appreciate your comment.

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  2. "But beauty is its own reward. It doesn't have to have a function beyond itself." - Truth for today.

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    1. Thanks so much for reading and commenting, Michelle.

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  3. THIS: "It's sad that my friend's cake went unseen. But I hope she thinks it was still worthwhile to make it look beautiful. Even if no one ever sees it, beauty is worthwhile. Beauty makes the world a better place." I'm sad that they didn't take a picture of the cake though. That's usually the first thing I do when I see a decorated cake. I'm in the 5 spot this week.

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    1. Yeah, taking a picture is mandatory! Because there is always someone who comes in late, or misses the event, and wishes they'd seen it. Thanks for reading and commenting, Tara.

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  4. It is amazing how much beauty we can miss in our everyday lives you’ve reminded me to look a little closer at everything around me, even the “weird” beauty! 😊 Cindy Wilkins

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    1. Thank you Cindy. I confess I googled "funny looking animals" and that is the one that popped up first and caught my eye. Not exactly beautiful but kind of cute. (By the way it's an "axolotl"!)

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  5. We were made to create beauty, too, because we are made in the image of our Creator :). How sad about your friend's cake, though. May I intentionally seek beauty if ALL of God's creation!

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    1. Thanks Anita - lovely having you here today!

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  6. Beauty is never wasted. Neither are tear. God saves both.

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    1. So true, Andrew. God bless and thanks for being here.

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  7. "But there is also a lot of beauty in the world that goes unseen just because of the way things are."
    I love how you expounded on this Jeannie. At first I just thought about how we can often just miss the beauty out there, but all the wonderful things you shared. I realize even more that beauty is just what God is and does and sometimes just the process of taking a part in creating brings us close to that side of our Heavenly Father.

    Have a wonderful weekend. Visiting from 61 this week. I kind of screwed up and totally typed Beautiful instead of Beauty, but I'm happy I came. :)

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    1. Thanks so much, Kelly; I always appreciate it when you visit. Have a great weekend too.

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  8. Jeannie, what a great reminder-"But there is also a lot of beauty in the world that goes unseen just because of the way things are." What an amazing creator we have who invests in the most intricate detail even though the object may never be seen.

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    1. That amazes me too, Stephanie. God must love to create.

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  9. I love this, Jeannie! Your examples of extraordinary beauty that most often go unseen remind me to stay humble. We don't have to always put our stuff out there just to say, "Look at me!" But it sure is nice when others recognize the beauty we've created, isn't it? God creates because it's in his nature to create and to reveal his glory.

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    1. Thank you so much for reading and commenting, Micah. I know just what you mean: it is wonderful and validating when others see what we've done or affirm us personally. But we can't make that the final source of our worth.

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  10. I've had that same experience your friend had on more than one ocassion. Once I decorated a lovely cake with icing flowers all over it, and my friend insisted on cutting it before guests arrived to a bridal shower for our mutual friend! You're redeeming that experience here for me, friend. I can look at it differently. I did, after all, enjoy making it... :)

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    1. That's so interesting, Betsy, that you had the same experience more than once! I guess there are people who just think in practical terms only -- their intentions may be good but I think they miss out on a lot of beauty in life.

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