“You can protest the darkness and brokenness by balancing with beauty.”
– Dr. Catherine Hart Weber
A wise counselor advises those who work on the front lines of issues related to sex trafficking, sexual abuse, and pornography to add beauty into their lives and their world whenever possible, and on a regular basis; for such dark, burdensome topics can become overwhelming, sometimes seeming as if there's no end to the bad news that comes through the media and across the internet every day. It can make one’s heart actually hurt some days.
At first, this suggestion stirred up feelings of guilt and a sense that this is unnecessary; after all, why should any of us enjoy beauty and comfort and security if those being victimized cannot? And in reality the beauty and security in their lives is stripped and ripped away from them? Yet circumstances created a demand to heed this wisdom. And so, after spending a couple of days in acute awareness of the beauty of creation, the often unnoticed intricacies of nature, the warm blessings that come from enjoying family and friends, a discovery was made!
With a sense of renewed energy and strengthened resolve the darkness lifted, dreams began flowing again, a sense of courage was reintroduced, and a fresh vision for justice reemerged! Beauty. Whenever it comes alive in us we will find new energy to live it out, right where we are... A few suggestions for instilling beauty into our world might be:
- Read a book such as "Wonderstruck".
- Listen to the kind of music that captures your attention and causes you to look beyond your current horizon.
- Buy a bouquet of flowers for the room you spend the most time in.
- Take a walk in the snow.
- Have a photo shoot with your pet!
- Treat yourself to lunch with a friend in a nice restaurant.
- Watch a sunrise. Watch a sunset.
- Take a break outside, look up at the clouds, and breathe deeply.
Henri Nouwen reminds us that "every time we show compassion to a suffering person, every time we arrange a bouquet of flowers, offer care to tame or wild animals, prevent pollution, create beauty in our homes and gardens ... we are making the vision come true...Whenever it comes alive in us we will find new energy to live it out, right where we are....this beautiful vision gets us involved.
How are you keeping beauty in your world and protesting the darkness?