I just went out for a mid-morning prayer-walk and was awestruck by the beauty of the day. It was heavenly. As I drank in the 72 degree breeze and the drifting clouds I was reminded of all the other occasions of beauty in our world – translucent rainbows, majestic waterfalls tumbling from lofty snow-capped mountains, golden sunrises painted in fluorescent pastels across billowing clouds, a tender smile on my wife’s face – and a million other examples. And then the question occurred to me: how do atheists appreciate beauty? To materialists, the appreciation of beauty is just an artificial delusion – an arbitrary neurochemical response to the stimuli from evolutionarily-advantageous environments. It’s just psychological chemistry. At the level of true reality, beauty is utterly devoid of any meaning whatsoever.
How dreadfully sad.
To believers, beauty really does have meaning. It has substance. It has intrinsic value. Beauty is a gift – a carefully-crafted present bestowed to us by a loving Creator. It is His “Hallmark card” addressed to us. It is the color and smell of love.
But it is more than that; beauty does not exist for its own sake. Beauty itself is actually a reflection of something far grander: glory. It is the ripples of God’s majesty cascading across the molecules of our universe. It is evidence of His existence and a foretaste of His splendor. Beauty is the harbinger and herald of the eternal joy that awaits the children of God. It is the Creator’s signature.
“The heavens declare the glory of God…”
Indeed they do — and beautifully.