This month I’m focusing my thanksgiving specifically on the people in my life that invoke beauty. Whether by their presence or their particular actions.
It would be impossible to talk about people who enrich my life without mentioning my mom and dad. Impossible I tell you!
Fall is their season. An October wedding. Her love for orange, changing leaves, cooler days. The back drop of their story, in my mind, will always be fall.
I could go all the way back to the beginning and arrive at this moment to speak of the ways they have enriched my life. I’m not talking about the basic ways they provided and taught. Parents do that, at least they’re supposed to, and mine did. I’m talking about true beauty, an enrichment.
Mom introduced me to a love of art, good books, poetry, classical music, nature, and design. Beauty is like life blood to her. Her surroundings have always been important, reflecting the soul. I’ve never known anyone else so capable of stretching a dime and turning ordinary items and spaces into things of beauty. She delights in the simple; stroking a cat, the ritual of tea, a night owl’s call. I’ve learned to savor from her.
My dad and I share very similar qualities. We’re dreamers. Is there a greater food for the human soul than the hopeful possibility of what might be? Dad taught me to see the world for its possibilities.
Now, in the autumn of their lives, their story is the richest. These last years have shown me that God can indeed take the ugliest of circumstances and weave them beautiful. If we let him. When cancer came knocking Mom and Dad got busy. They got on their knees, in holy surrender. They held hands, in fidelity and faith. They opened their arms and learned to savor each moment even more deeply. I don’t think I could ever say I’m glad for cancer. But I can say I’m thankful for what God has made of it in their lives.
My life is richer for having watched my parents faith journey. It has given perspective on the past and hope for the future. The curtain has been pulled back on the humble art of servanthood as I’ve watched my Dad care for Mom. And Mom, who has always shared the thrill of her discipleship journey with me, has drawn me to delve deeper into the heart of God.
I’ve learned my most important lesson about beauty from them. Beauty doesn’t happen on accident. It takes real work to see beauty and create it. Selfish eyes miss what’s valuable. Lazy hands don’t take the time to create. Unkind people never invest in what really matters – other people. I’m thankful that Mom and Dad have done the hard work of finding and cultivating beauty in their lives and mine. So many of us are better for it!
It would also be impossible to share my thankfulness for their story without mentioning my thanks for so many of you. Friends and family, you have been faithful to pray for Mom as she’s been sick. Truly, that is beautiful. Thank you!
Who has invested time and creativity in your life? Do you nurture beautiful things in those around you?