This is the conversation that Michael and I were having the other day. I’ve been reading the Psalms and got to the 27th one – where this verse caught me off-guard:
“One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord in his temple.”
Hmm. So I’ve heard the “beauty of the Lord” described as his love, his grace, yadda yadda yadda. Basically his attributes were his beauty, as told to me in Sunday school, from the pulpit. What he did/does is his beauty. Then it struck me: why couldn’t God be beautiful? Like, physically handsome/gorgeous/good looking, etc.? That got the wheels turning. Why wouldn’t he be? He can’t be ugly, can he? I guess if I were the most powerful being in the universe, I sure wouldn’t be ugly. But I think my whole life, my mind’s image of God is this grandfatherly, wise and just man, who is good to “those who love him”, and throwing down lightning bolts every so often. How messed up is that?! Why wouldn’t God, who sits on the throne of Heaven and the universe, be ageless and beautiful – so beautiful that I’d want to stare at him – “to gaze”, in fact? So I started to imagine the most physically beautiful people I could think of – and then imagined that God is even more – WAY more – beautiful than that! Woah. Makes sense to me that he’d be so beautiful that I can hardly stand it. Pretty cool to think about, isn’t it?
Then another day I’m reading, reading, reading, and get to another part of the Psalms:
“One thing God has spoken, two things I have heard:
that you, O God, are strong, and that you, O Lord, are loving.”
So I know, I’ve heard it my whole life, that God is good, right? And I know that God loves me, but when I think of somebody who is loving, I think of somebody who just loves extravagantly – and as a woman, somebody who is strong and loving sounds to me like the perfect guy! Somebody who protects me and cherishes me – that’s gotta be the #1 need of women everywhere. To feel loved and safe and provided for. Tell me that isn’t so, I dare ya.
But when I put together a God who is beautiful, and a God who is loving, I get an image of my Lord that is completely different than the one I’ve held in my mind my entire life! I feel like this week I got a peeling back of the veil and am peeking at a God who’s smiling at me, telling me to come closer. Those verses I quoted at the top of this posting – I’m making them mine. How could I not love a God who is like that? How could I not want to sit with him, to talk with him, or just be with him and stare at his beauty? How could anybody not want that? That IS what I want.