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Spend a couple days in a children's hospital, with cries echoing down the halls as you try to sleep at night, and you feel it. The weight of a broken world. The heaviness of things not meant to be. The sorrow of parents who are having to grapple with a future they did not anticipate.
My foster son and I spent a night there this past week after his surgery and I felt the heaviness.
But in the corridor where we stayed, bits of beauty were strewn everywhere. Silly shapes were made by creative housekeeping workers from towels. Children's art lined the halls. Signs with hand-written messages of encouragement were taped on each door.
And I remembered how beauty matters most in hurting and desperate places. I'm not talking anything that requires a lot of money, but the efforts to bring a lovely moment to a hurting soul.
When there are little children walking down the halls in their gowns and bald heads, its apparent how the beauty matters.
It's in places like this, where weightiness reigns, that beauty shines all the more. It's what I always thought visiting my refugee friends. The circumstances were bleak. The apartment was barren and by most definitions ugly. But someone had taken the time to hang lovely posters and native patterns around the main room. Those pieces of colored paper made a startling impression.
In my home, to my children and husband, simple efforts to infuse little bits of beauty are more than a sign of materialism.
To a weary friend, the nursing home residents, the foster child or orphan, the act of offering beauty matters.
Why would God have created such breathtaking splendor if it did not?
Creation declares who God is.
We see it even in the small things. The Lord gave careful instructions to His people long ago for how to build temples and weave garments. He said, "Do it for glory and for beauty." It represented God to the people. It mattered.
Like a statue in the park
of this war-torn town
and its protest of the darkness
and this chaos all around.
-Sara Groves, How It Matters