True Beauty

I was reading one of my wine magazines and I felt like doing some blackout poetry with it. You likely wouldn’t guess it from the words I chose, but the article was about artichokes.

True beauty is the confluence of love in celebration.

We prefer appearance.

I’ve actually been thinking on the topic of beauty lately as I’m revisiting Oscar Wilde’s book The Picture of Dorian Gray. I’m reminded of this quote from the book: “It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances. The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible….”

In case you haven’t ever read it—or haven’t read it as an adult—it’s the story of a man who has a portrait painted that takes on a bizarre connection with him. Both his sins and his age are reflected in the portrait while he remains pristinely beautiful. When he first sees the painting he responds by saying,

“I am jealous of everything whose beauty does not die. I am jealous of the portrait you have painted of me. Why should it keep what I must lose? Every moment that passes takes something from me and gives something to it. Oh, if it were only the other way! If the picture could change, and I could be always what I am now! Why did you paint it?”

I keep thinking about what our own portraits might be like were the story about us. There’s this haunting line in the book that says, “Sin is a thing that writes itself across a man’s face. It cannot be concealed.” While that is not true in the physical body of Dorian Gray, it is certainly true of you and me. And I’m grateful for that. I am who I am today with all of my mistakes and failures and all I’ve learned through the fun and the painful experiences.

There’s beauty to be found in all of it, especially that which dies. This is the good news of the Gospel, yet it often seems contrary to our own sense of beauty. It is only when we embrace all of it and hold the moment with open hands that we may experience what Jesus has in store for us.

We need not be jealous of what we cannot keep. We who follow Jesus should be the ones to embrace the uncertainty of the new better than anyone.

We need not be jealous of what we cannot keep. We who follow Jesus should be the ones to embrace the uncertainty of the new better than anyone. Click To Tweet

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Jeremy Jernigan

Speaker | Author | Founder of Communion Wine Co. https://linktr.ee/JeremyJernigan