"The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing —
to reach the Mountain, to find the place where all the beauty came from —
my country, the place where I ought to have been born. Do you think it all meant nothing,
all the longing? The longing for home? For indeed it now feels not like going, but like going back."

~C.S. Lewis

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Christ's Purity as the Bringer of Beauty

I desire beauty, and I am not ashamed. To have true beauty is to be pure.

To be pure is to be unmarred, a perfect reflector, a divine mirror held up to the face of Beauty Himself. The pure are blessed, for they see God (Matthew 5:8). As a woman, when I am held up to the face of God as a mirror and I see His face reflected back in my own soul, it is naturally a vision of purity.

Purity is often seen in terms of “do not’s” by the world and equally by the church, and this is an inexcusable tragedy. Purity is the ability to be free—so gloriously free from guilt and from fear. It allows me to rejoice in abandon—pure abandon—abandon in purity—abandon to purity—abandon made possible by purity. A glass-clear purity allows me to reflect Christ in the sacred peace of my life and to further reflect to others the beauty of their identity as holy, stunning, glorious artwork of a Master. Maia comes, and the Lord is revealed.

This revelation is striking to both those who know the Lord and those who do not. As was said in my last post, truly beautiful women bring me face-to-face with Christ. That is another reason I seek to be beautiful: so that I am a witness.

In fact, beauty—or maia—is the epitome of what witnessing is, for me. It is more than reasons, more than testimonies, more than service, though all of those are a critical foundation. As I wrote in the“Maia” page on this site, such reasons

…are the clouds and the sky and the sun. But clouds and sky and sun do not make a sunset. They do not wrench the heart and say, see, this is what you have been longing for, this is what your tears fall for, this is what your hands reach for. This is what keeps calling your name, over and over, though you know not from where the voice comes. What causes the sunset to tear at the depths of your soul with a gut-wrenching longing is the Light. It is the Light that spills and laughs and dances and swirls, it is the Light that explodes the colors and paints the clouds and touches the trees, it is the Light that turns your soul toward a land you have never seen but for which you were made. That is Magic. That is what I seek, that is what I desire, that is true joy, that is true Beauty. That is Glory.

That is what brings people to the Lord. That is the same magic I sense, sometimes, for a moment, when a corner of this world’s tapestry gets blown back in a heavenly breeze and for a moment I see the glittering treasure behind. I sense it in Narnia. I see it in a sunset. And I feel it in purity.

That is why I seek to be beautiful.

I need to feel maia.