Air Pockets of Beauty

Pasquale MingarelliBy Pasquale Mingarelli6 Minutes

Do we need beauty? That’s like asking, “Do we need air?” or “Do we need water?” God placed air and water all around the planet. We cannot survive without them. God also placed beauty in the world and in the heavens. Why did He do that?

God even left air and water in places where we would not expect to find them. Many of us remember the story of the boys trapped in an undersea cave in Thailand. They escaped drowning because God placed an air pocket just where they would need it.  God puts enough water even in the driest deserts, to sustain life. In the same way, He has left “air pocket of beauty” in the little corners of the world.

The Discipline of Beauty

Why has God left beauty everywhere? Perhaps He knows that our innermost being needs beauty to stay fully alive, just like we need air and water.

Most artists practice what I call “the discipline of beauty.” By practicing the discipline of beauty, artists stay more aware of the beauty around them. They keep their eyes and ears aesthetically tuned in to the artistic wonders of life. They will often find beauty where most people would overlook it. But God did not place that splendor just for artists to enjoy. He placed it there for everyone.

White Snow on Red Leaves

This year we had an early snowfall. All the leaves had not yet fallen to the ground. As I pulled out of our driveway the morning of the first snow, I couldn’t help but notice how the new fallen snow stuck to the still red leaves of our blueberry bushes. I instantly plotted in my head that after dropping our kids off at school, I would return home to photograph the snow-covered bushes before I headed off to work.

With camera and tripod in hand, I walked around looking for the best shot. Each different angle revealed the beauty in a fresh new way.  Some angles of the beauty didn’t work photographically and  I couldn’t capture them in my camera. As a nature photographer, I’ve learned long ago that sometimes God makes things beautiful just for our eyes to treasure in the moment.

Fortunately, at least one angle did work photographically, and I captured God’s picturesque grace in a few simple photographs. Most people would have overlooked this subtle beauty, but God placed it there as a reminder of His grace on an unseasonably cold morning.

Refreshing the Soul

The elegance of snow on red leaves is the type of beauty people so often overlook.

But God placed grandeur in unexpected places because our souls need it. The rush of life that drives us so quickly causes us to miss many little bits of beauty. But that very rush of life is the reason why we need to notice the beauty in our daily lives. When we practice the discipline of beauty, we take the time to notice it. When we notice, it restores and refreshes our hard driven souls.

John Eldredge says in his book “Get Your Life Back: Everyday Practices for a World Gone Mad,” that we need to be “Drinking Beauty.” He writes, “Beauty comforts. Beauty heals. Why else would we send flowers to a hospital room or a funeral?”

Beauty comforts us, restores us and calms us. God made it for us. Without it, life would be drudgery for everyone.

Seeing air pocket of Beauty

Beauty is a lot like the presence of God. It exists all around us if we simply choose to open our eyes to it. When we practice the discipline of beauty, we will see it in the things God made such as in the birds and in the flowers, fields and forests. We will see it in the mountains, the oceans and even the deserts. But practicing the discipline of beauty also allows us to see wonder in the talents of humanity. We will find magnificence in story, in music, in architecture, in art, in landscaping and in so much more.

The discipline of beauty allows us to find beauty in the creations of people because God created us in His image. And as bearers of His image, we desire beauty and we create beauty.

Somewhere in your day, God has placed an “air pocket of beauty” for you to enjoy. Make sure you take the time to treasure it.