Saturday, January 9, 2021

Beauty Will Rise

Watch out for the broken glass, I cautioned, moving my sons away from the piles of shards that lay in our path. 

I hate broken glass! my four-year-old declared. Why couldn't we just drive to the library?  

I lifted my face, caught in thought for a split second. Then, I heard it: a melody lilting among the trees. 

Because, I responded. If we drove in the minivan, we wouldn't be able to hear the birds sing. Listen-do you hear that?

Our view may have been full of trash and glass pieces, gray snowy slush and the mechanical hum of the busy street, but beauty blasted through any ugliness; a lone bird sang praises on this dreary winter morning. 

How often do we miss the glimmers of God's beauty that dance on the fringes of our days? In that conversation with my firstborn, I simply spewed out the first response that popped into my mouth--but it has continued to gnaw at me. Because we chose to walk, and inconvenience ourselves with navigating through the mire of littered streets, we could experience the beauty of a bird singing. 


As I ponder this occasion, I wonder how many times I have chosen to subsist in whatever is most convenient, comfortable, or efficient--and missed an opportunity to experience God's beauty. While it can be good to take advantage of the many conveniences I have available, there is something powerful in the inconvenient moments that reveal beauty. 

For beauty will always come, in some way or another. No matter how ugly, no matter how battered, no matter how devastating a situation may be, beauty will rise. 

An image comes to mind of my baby, being held by a woman with a still-grieving heart and empty womb. About the love that sparkled between them, despite the tragedies of the year. 

My memory slips back in time, to meeting that brown-haired girl, no more than ten years old, who ran and jumped in the empty lot of a Rust Belt city. Her laughter filling the air, she was a picture of innocence and delight as she scampered past the crumbling where, I was told, the porn shop used to stand. 

I think about the glow that now shines behind the masked face of the woman who sweeps around bins at the grocery store. I met a guy! she enthuses, the delight of experiencing love past the age of sixty adding joy and beauty to her routine workdays. 

When the brightness of a new year is tinged with violence and sorrow, let us seize hope--for, like a flower springing from the crannied wall, beauty will rise. It will always rise. Will we accept the discomforts that come our way, look beyond the ugliness, and see the splendor of God's beauty and truth? 

This post is part of a blog hop by Spoken Women, an online community of Catholic women nurturing their creative callings. Click here to view the next post in this series "Beauty Rises." 


  1. "While it can be good to take advantage of the many conveniences I have available, there is something powerful in the inconvenient moments that reveal beauty." Oh I love this. So true...

    1. Jen, I'm so glad you liked this! Thanks for reading :)

  2. Amen. Beauty will rise and inconvenience is totally worth it. May we all listen for the birds!

  3. This is beautiful! So much truth is packed in here.

  4. I love this! I don't necessarily believe that "everything happens for a reason," as in God did not necessarily cause every misfortune big and small to occur, but I definitely believe that God can create purpose from everything that happens, and can bring beauty out of the ugliest situation if we let Him.

  5. I very much dislike inconvenience. This is a good reminder to me to not always do everything I can to avoid it.

    1. I'm glad this could benefit you, Shannon! I also dislike inconvenience, so capturing memories and writing them out is a good reminder for me as I think back on it and learn to accept the inconveniences that continue to come my way.