The Beauty of a Gentle and Quiet Truth
By Jim Allen
Beauty is a rare thing these days. I am reminded of a wild flower thriving amidst some garbage strewn in a wooded area. Imagine that! Its bloom was facing upwards towards the forest canopy, soaking in the rays of the sun. But like most things in life, the flower faded over time and its purpose came to an end. What remains now at the garbage scene is a memory of a beautiful thing that once grew where planted, blossoming among the muck and waste of humanity.
While there are many ways to define rare beauty, one definition caught my eye having within its meaning a spiritual dimension often not seen. In fact, this particular definition borders on biblical truth and is worth sharing. The author flowingly pens:
Beauty is a thing seldom seen. It is held by all within the soul it lies, waiting to come out to the surface, but it can only be found if someone is sharing your soul with you. Beauty is suppressed by the evils of the world. Only love can bring beauty out. Once seen, beauty never hides again. Not even hatred can deny beauty of its true design. Beauty, although possessed by all by few and fewer yet will ever see one of the most beautiful sights — the beauty held by you. (Source)While beauty is an occasional thing in some people, it is not held by all and certainly not always waiting to surface when someone shares their soul. A flower that blooms and fades is a reminder that physical beauty is a temporal thing, subject to time and preordained to dust (Genesis 3:19). And if God permits, even the universe in all its glory and splendor and beauty will one day fade at the end of time.
The apostle Peter writes about the true beauty of the soul:
Do not let your adornment be merely outward — arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel — rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. (1 Peter 3:3-4)The message from the apostle is simple and to the point. God looks upon the gentle and quiet things of His creation as true beauty, like a flower blooming wherever planted.
The words of Jesus were assuredly gentle and quiet when he spoke about the birds of the air and how their heavenly Father feeds them (Matthew 6:25-26). These small-winged creatures of the sky have no worry about tomorrow. They soar in the heavenlies knowing the meadows below are seeded to supply all their need.
Then pointing to a grassy field, Jesus spoke about the lilies of the field and how each one grew without grumble and toil. Basking in the sun and soaking up the rains, these small plants thrived where planted, and multiplied. Jesus looked upon these plants as more beautiful than Solomon in all his glory (Matthew 6:25-30).
Knowing God's provision for the birds of the air and flowers of the field, believers can rest and enjoy a gentle and quiet spirit because they are surely more worthy than these (Matthew 10:31). Beauty may be a rare thing in the world, but never among those abiding in the love of the Christ (Galatians 2:20; Colossians 2:6).
As a child growing up I discovered a beautiful person in my neighborhood. This man lived a few houses away, and over time I got to know him. He was kind, generous, and overall a good man. He never once shared the gospel with me but that didn't matter. I liked him anyway. His life was gentle and quiet and powerful.
One day I learned he was a Christian and then understood why he was exceptional among men. Some years later I became interested in Christianity partly because of the loveliness within this person not realizing or understanding it was Christ alive in him (Colossians 1:27).
While he never mentioned Jesus to me, he didn't have to. He abided in Christ, having a gentle and quiet spirit. He shared Jesus by being a living witness to the reality of God in Him. He was a flower bloom planted amidst darkened and broken lives. This is the message from Paul to you and me (2 Corinthians 3:2).
This man's godly witness was powerful then and is lasting today, a beautiful thing God can use to draw others to Himself (John 6:44).
And now years later I occasionally think about this man who captivated me not by his life but by the life abiding in him (John 15:5). He had a beauty about him that was rare. He was like a flower planted to bloom. He was loved and appreciated by all, giving off the sweet aroma of a hidden and inner splendor (2 Corinthians 2:16).
In closing and like most things in life, this flower bloom of a person faded and his purpose came to an end. Though he passed away, his silent witness remained with me through the years, and now shared with you. Our time on earth counts and so too does our witness when we let the hidden beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit blossom from within for all to see (Matthew 5:16).
Note: This article does not suggest there is no need for a verbal witness. In fact, a silent witness, in my view, is an important first step to verbally sharing the good news of the Gospel (2 Corinthians 3:2).
Image Credit: Foto Jenny; "Flower and trash"; Creative Commons
Tags: Biblical-Salvation | Biblical-Truth | Christian-Life
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