At 2:37 this morning I pushed ‘purchase.’ Why would anyone purchase a Catholic priest’s theology of beauty in the middle of a night when sleep evades her?
Here’s why. Yesterday happened. Yesterday, I was overstimulated by beauty! I know. Crazy ! How? It’s a God-thing!
Let me tell you about yesterday. Early in the day, I reread passages from Phil Mason’s book Quantum Glory: The Science of Heaven Invading Earth. He writes how beauty and truth are seemlessly interwoven. Where you find one, you find the other. I note his references thinking perhaps I should purchase the one on the theology of beauty.
This was followed by a photo shoot with a beautiful friend under sunny backlit skies (ask me another time about beautiful light); to be followed by a meet up with a couple new photography friends where we shared our most beautiful images; to be followed by a beautiful family dinner with our lovely daughters and spirited grandchildren (they’re beautiful, too, but I thought perhaps I was overusing the word); to be followed by–oh let’s just go with it–a (beautiful) movie about (beautiful) food (beautifully) prepared somewhere in the (beautiful) French countryside.
You see, yesterday I over dosed on beauty. My mind was awhirl!
Let me tell you how this obsession so innocently began. It hit me at a writers’ conference a couple years back. Not just any boring, grindingly competitive–which-editor’s-ear-will-you-try-to-bend conference.
It happened in Redding, California.
For those of you familiar with Bethel Church/Redding, that’s all you need to know. For others, let’s just say Bethel is where people get ruined for the ordinary. With a conference title like “Writing Unto the Glory Conference” I should have known. It struck when Barbara Nicolosi-Harrington spoke on Beauty. I’ve not been the same. Not for a moment! Barbara undid the banal for me.
I returned home with a thirst that could not be quenched. I packed home Mason’s book from the Bethel book store.
Three weeks post beauty transformation, I attended my very first Awakenings Prayer Institute event facilitated by a local pastor who leads a church called, you got it, Bethel. We were instructed to write a breath prayer of our soul’s deep need. Deciding on a prayer–that was easy. Somehow, I had to release beauty. I tried to define how I would release it. Pastor Wes advised to keep it open ended.
He also instructed us to pick a name for God that would apply to this prayer.
Bright Morning Star–“The Promise of Full Light to Come” from Revelation 22:16 became my name for God in this prayer.
Bright Morning Star–Release beauty through me!
It was such a simple prayer, rather elegant I think, but simple. Bold, yes, bold, outrageously bold and simple. Who was I to pray a prayer like this? A grandmother? YES! You don’t have to be 15, to be outrageous!
I’ve never stopped praying it. Other breath prayers have come and gone. This one clings to me like a baby tightens his grip around mama’s neck when all the out-of-town aunties descend on his home for a visit.
I love this prayer best.
I love what happened to me at Bethel–both Bethels! Do you know what Bethel means? I’ll leave that for another post. Stay tuned. Right now, I must pick up where I left off. I’m hot on the trail of beauty. Hand me my Kindle, please.
Marlee Huber ~ For Your Flourishing Life.