I am finding it a challenge to get to mass in the mornings and even to crack open my missal to do the daily readings. What joy though today to come across these words from Wisdom 13 about the author of beauty and the reminder that we must not only delight in the loveliness of our surroundings but also in the Creator who manifested all of these. Even in my illness, I keep my eyes on the beauty around me that God showers me with. Ignatian spirituality has trained me to seek God in all things. Today the sun sets the remaining leaves shimmering in gold and red. Summer flowers are a distant memory but still God provides glory.
I lay in bed last night, running through my day and acknowledged that I was giving the chemo more power than I should. I cannot deny it has clobbered me but I refuse to let it claw my gratitude and awe. I want to stay diligent and appreciate what I can regardless. I am a firm believer in beauty soothing the soul. I know that as the side effects grow, my challenge will be to persevere. My taste buds are coated with a yuckiness that is constant. I love to eat–in a good way. I appreciate flavours and textures. Eating is becoming less appealing on many levels so I have to break it down. A friend dropped off some yummy muffins recently and they are a delight. They pack a punch in flavour, even if it is momentary before the awful chemo taste takes over. I am committed to enjoying that brief burst of flavour in each and every bite and knowing that the healthiness of the muffins prevail regardless.
So much of this journey is mental stamina. My faith grounds me often when I am tempted to moan about my state. The Author of Beauty whispers grace-filled moments at the most delicious times–when I am flat in bed, suddenly my down-filled pillow feels amazing; an upbeat email brings a smile and renews my weariness; and when I open a fridge full to the brim, I am grateful that I have choices where some have no food at all. Beauty comes in disguises of grace and mercy. The Author is prolific, and never stops creating. How magnificent is that?
We must have eyes to see and ears to hear when the Author creates. When our spirits are being battered, this requires even more diligence than what one can expect. Some days, holding to the belief that the Author is creating beauty out of our ashes may be more than we can conceive. Surely, some good will come out of this ugliness we want to moan. I am finding that the truth is what I have known for a long time–there is beauty in the ugly moments too, just as there is always light in the darkness. May my eyes see with the Author’s the richness of what is before me.
What story is the Author of Beauty writing to you today?
What disguises has Beauty worn this week for you?
Author of Beauty,
Creator of Life,
Give me eyes to see,
ears to hear,
a spirit of grace,
that I may behold
You in all things.