I love being a part of the worship team when new songs are introduced. Part of the excitement is hearing Joel's heart behind the song choice and his desire to make these our songs. I was especially touched by "Beautiful" this weekend. The words are so simple and so amazing. A lot of it resonated with something Judy Hougen blogged about a couple weeks ago: "Beauty is part of who God is. Not only does God embody beauty, he also creates it. So if beauty is part of who God is and what he does, are we not in spiritual peril if we ignore or discount the role of beauty in our own lives?" (These few sentences are not doing her post justice. Click on her name to the left to read the entire thing). God created us. God creates beautiful things. Not only is HE beautiful in HIS holiness, he makes US beautiful through HIS holiness.
I was recently turned on to the Jennifer Knapp-type stylings of Christian recording artist Bethany Dillon. (Thanks, Lisa). I have a lot of respect for musicians who write their own stuff and/or play an instrument. Bethany does both. And she's one of those teenage phenoms. She has a song on her new album, also called "Beautiful," that really speaks the same things I mentioned above. She does something cool with the chorus. The first couple times through, the words are very "I" centered ("I want to be beautiful, and make you stand in awe..."), but the last time through, it becomes a God-centered voice. The journey spoken of in the lyrics has brought her to a place where she finds her beauty in who she is in the Lord. "You make me beautiful, You make me stand in awe, You step inside my heart, and I am amazed. I love to hear You say, Who I am is quite enough. You make me worthy of love and beautiful." It's a very refreshing reminder of WHO we are and WHOSE we are.
In a society where beauty is measured by outside appearances, I want to remember to draw from the only one who can make me truly beautiful.
"God does not see the same way people see. People look on the outside of a person, but the Lord looks at the heart." (I Samuel 16:7)