This is the time of year that I used to dread. Most of the Christmas decorations have disappeared from our neighborhood’s homes, the warmth of holiday music has dissipated, the air is bitter cold, and the trees are dark and seemingly devoid of life.
My husband and I commute to work together, and lately I have been struck with beauty that I haven’t noticed before. One thought has been swirling in my mind for a few days now.
There is great beauty to be found in barrenness.
This thought strikes me as my eyes take in the awesomeness of those trees that in the past I would describe as cold, dead and dull. What I see now is entirely different and enlightening.
As we drive home after work, the winter sunsets are almost overwhelmingly gorgeous. Last night there were deep shades of indigo, violet, magenta, pink and blue. The colors were layered beautifully, and could be viewed through the intricate patterns of lace and latticework formed by the branches of those “dead” trees.
All it took for me to notice and see the beauty of barrenness was to look past it, and focus on the beauty through it.
Our lives are like that. We tend to focus on what is lacking, and sometimes just can’t understand why a loving God would allow certain things to happen in the world. We look at our own lives, our sufferings and weaknesses, and we feel barren and sometimes even abandoned.
We are called in faith to look through the barrenness and focus on the perfect beauty and love of God.
He is the beauty that calls, amazes, humbles, and overwhelms us with love. He is The One that works all things toward good for those who love Him.
Do you love Him that loves you? Are you willing to look through your weaknesses, persecutions, and sufferings and focus your trust and whole being on the saving love and grace of Jesus? Will you open your heart to His Divine Mercy?
Only then will your eyes be opened to the intricate beauty of barrenness… for only Our Lord knows the full design of the tapestry that is being masterfully created through what we view as unacceptable.
Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:8-10
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28