Beauty inspires. It touches our souls and we are transformed. We see things in a new light and this often influences our relationship with ourselves and each other. It’s clear, beauty shapes our imagination and, consequently, how we show up in the world.
But unfortunately, this doesn’t always go in a positive direction, as beauty can also be distorted. And distorted beauty still holds to power to influence how we see and often leads us to see each other in fragmented ways and merely as things to be consumed.
For instance, sex sells because advertisers manipulate its beauty to get us to engage in their various products and services. But in the end we’re rarely inspired to bring more life and goodness into the world. Rather, we’re left feeling insecure. And our imaginations have been shaped to believe the only cure for our ache is to consume whatever they’re selling.
But thankfully, the power of beauty can inspire love and good works as well, as we contemplate on what is possible and do our part to make the world a better place.
For example, sunsets and paintings and various works of art all help us to see the good in the world and inspire us to continue creating more of the same. They stir our creative energies and move us to consider many new possibilities we wouldn’t think of otherwise.
Our imaginations are shaped toward the good.
Likewise, human beauty reminds us of our shared humanity and divine dignity. And the more we can appreciate this beauty the more we can see and treat each other as the image bearers of God.
In the end, without beauty to lift our imaginations we all too often settle for cheap displays that dull our senses to the fullness of life available.
Let beauty remind you of what’s possible and shape your imagination towards God’s best.