Monday, November 18, 2013


There was a time when life used to be beautiful. Everything was so fresh, so new and so astonishingly enthralling. Mystery surrounded us. Every step we took was music. By day, sunbeams smiled down warmly and by night, the stars twinkled munificently. All creation erupted in a carnival of dancing for us to contemplate the splendour on display. Perfection and paradise were our lot. With so much to discover and experience, we quivered under the thought of the promised sweetness awaiting us. We were merely starting out as meagre pilgrims on the vast journey of life. We couldn’t escape from hope’s embrace.

God designed our existence to be that way. His creation was a joy-driven work that saturated nature in abounding love and soul-drenching hope. He made everything to be ever so good. What a delight He took in furnishing us a world so perfect to live in! Such was His love that His handiwork flowed fluently and freely. He was satisfied to see His creation satisfied. He rejoiced to see others rejoice. He put glee in man’s heart to fascinate him with divine goodness. Could God have been any more melodious, harmonic and tuneful? He did all things well. The whole earth responded merrily in an anthem of effortless praise.

So what went wrong? The problem began when we forsook the fount of all beauty: God, the Creator. Having denied ourselves an authentic existence before Him, we became dark beasts that opted for a shadowy existence and an identity based upon human self, success and domination. We crucified the holy passions with which we were formed. So the Wholly Other One disappeared from sight. And we were wickedly thankful. God was condemned to oblivion. At last, we had got rid of the Imposter! Or so we thought.

This primitive longing for beauty and existential fullness has never left man and it never will. It forms part of our human constitution. That’s why so many middle-class and middle-aged Westerners wake up one day in their forties to realize they have become walking institutions burdened by the crippling weight of having to project a constant image of untarnished success. Rather than rejoicing with those that rejoice, they get rotten about the happiness that others find in life, bearing their disgust with a diplomatic smile in public. Life, for them, has turned into a dead-end alley of pressure, rules, things, money and structure. Frustration is triggered, and sooner or later, an inherent scream in every one of these beauty-forsaking well-to-doers releases itself in the most violent and desperate of manners. This soul-piercing scream squeals frantically for redemption. It is the sign of paradise lost. It uncovers the scary depths of humanity’s anguish.

There is no way to find satisfaction for this vicious thirst until peace is made with God. God created the human soul to fill it with Himself. After all, man was made for something greater than success and domination; he was formed for beauty. He was crafted to delight in it. And as the Bible shows, absolute beauty can only be found in the Eternal One, that is, He who revealed His majesty on a bloody cross in Palestine on a run-of-the-mill Friday afternoon not too long ago. Faith is the key to recovering this dynamic and adventurous joy of life that God the Creator desires to bestow ever so richly upon every desperate life.

If you are one of the broken ones, why not ask God to fill you? He’ll make your life beautiful.

Will Graham