Wednesday Prayers: the Necessity of Beauty

When I realized this summer that novels were giving me better guidance for pastoral care than textbooks were, I let myself soak in gorgeous books. Joy started to seep into parts of my heart that hadn't seen warmth in a long time.

I've been spending regular time at Longwood Gardens, and it is (to use Peaebang's preferred term for self-care) helping me keep my shit together.

There was a point when I became so constantly aware of struggle and sorrow that indulging in beauty felt unjust. Having let a little beauty slip back in, I'm starting to think that we're to consider the lilies, not just as an object lesson in God's provision, but because we need beauty. We need delight so that our hearts can open.

This week, I'm giving thanks that God is meeting my need for beauty. How about you? Are you getting enough?


  1. I am feeling a need to find nourishing beauty to replenish what I put into my art. A trip to Longwood may be in order.

    1. Margaret, I didn't think about needing to take in beauty to make it, but that makes perfect sense. (Some people object to the priest taking communion before distributing it to others, but I've always thought they can't give what they haven't first received. Maybe beauty is the same way?)

      AND, I was thinking of you and Wayne as I thought of art that blesses me.

  2. Timely indeed. I always felt my teaching was fed by having a very active non-teacher life. That time cannot be taken away just by art.


"So keep fightin' for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don't you forget to have fun doin' it. Lord, let your laughter ring forth. Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce. And when you get through kickin' ass and celebratin' the sheer joy of a good fight, be sure to tell those who come after how much fun it was."
-Saint Molly Ivins