THE LIFE-CHANGING ART OF TIDYING UP is all about beauty. The ordinary beauty we make for ourselves in our homes. Yet in a culture that devalues beauty, attempts to define it down to function, and links the value of everything to the money it can produce, our lives are filled with clutter and ugliness.

Returning to my original discussion of the loss of beauty in our culture see how wrong the culture has this entire concept?

“What is beauty?” is a question that this culture is as ill-equipt to answer as Pilate was to answer his own, “What is Truth?” There is only one source of Love in all its perfection, only one source of Truth in its fullness, only one source of Beauty in its complete form–and that source is one source. God, the creator of everything out of nothingness, one being in three persons, a mystery beyond the human mind’s ability to grasp, is the origin of Beauty. The creator of beauty defines it.

So, what IS beauty? It is not, as I have shown in the past weeks, merely function. Good design, excellence of function, these are elements in beauty but not the entirety of it. Aesthetics plays a part. An object may have attributes not part of the function that increase the beauty.

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For example: a crock for making pickles, sauerkraut, or dilly carrots does not have to be beautiful to be functional. The paper plate does not need to be pretty to be functional. Yet, there is beauty that does nothing to improve the function, yet adds to my pleasure in using it.

Lack of beauty is ugliness. A meal that is not beautiful is ugly. A home that is not beautiful is ugly.

The loss to our quality of life is astounding when we neglect beauty and yet we do not fight our cultures insistence that we only develop those skills in our children that can make money.

I shall keep on seeking ordinary beauty. I seek beauty in the washing of the sink. I seek beauty in the doing of the laundry. I seek beauty when making sauerkraut from scratch. I seek beauty every time I practice the art of tidying up.

Dear Lord, please help each of us to change our attitudes about beauty. Help us to reject the false measure of a paycheck or the incomplete measure of functionality. Help us to recognize and embrace beauty and share it with the people around us. Help us to show love by creating beauty. +Amen.


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