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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Beautiful (11/07/05)

TITLE: What Is Beautiful?
By Venice Kichura


Beautiful scenery?

“It’s just so beautiful!” I exclaimed to our 24-year-old son, lost for words, describing the mountain village we’d recently chosen for our next home. Tree-lined mountains, cascading waterfalls and a town square complete with quaint country shops called us back from last year’s vacation to settle down in Dahlonega, Georgia when we retire.

Our son politely responded with “to each his own”. Then I remembered how energized he was last summer upon returning from a trip to Boston, Massachusetts. Graduating next month, he wants to begin his career in this huge metropolitan area and has already sent out resumes to several architectural firms there. However, a city like Boston with more than half a million people is the last place I’d select. Give me a quiet country town with no interstates.

To my old Floridian friends, beautiful is a clear, crystal-blue ocean and a warm sunny beach. But since we’ve moved from southern Florida to southern New England my conception of beauty has changed. After living in rolling hills for the past six years, I couldn’t go back to flat lands, humidity, and palm trees.

Yes, to each his own, as my son tells me. As for beautiful scenery, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, as the saying goes.

Beautiful weather?

“We’re in for a beautiful day here in southern New England,” the weathercaster would often report the first winter we moved up north. Shivering in my boots, I’d gaze out my kitchen window, wondering if we were in the same place. I’ll show him a beautiful day, I’d mused, jealous of my Florida friends who were barbecuing ribs on their screened-in porches. Beautiful January weather in New England means the sun is out and we’ve climbed back into the double digits.

Although I love a change of season, I’m still not a New Englander. Freshly fallen snow is beautiful, but staring at the stuff for four months is depressing. We were relieved when a realtor from our beloved north Georgia mountain village assured us that although it does snow, it melts by noon the next day.
And, as for weather, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder…

Beautiful art?

Besides writing, I also dabble in art and have a closet full of oil paintings. To me beautiful art is realist. Yet, I realize other art forms are also considered beautiful. In fact, there are some works of art featured in museums that were created with tin cans and junk found rummaging through garbage dumps. Just as I don’t care for contemporary art, I’m sure modern artists wouldn’t appreciate my realist landscapes paintings.

Again, to each his own---As for art, beauty is in the eye of the beholder…

Beautiful people?

“That woman is so homely,” my mother would say about someone that I considered attractive. Are we looking at the same person? I’d question her, challenging her judgment. But then again, Mamma and I have different tastes in fashion. Where she loves silk dresses and long-sleeved shirts, 90% of my Bohemian wardrobe is short-sleeved denim dresses and jeans.

Is a pencil-thin waist always beautiful? Not if you’re a Middle Eastern woman. There you’re considered hot if you’re fat. Here in America where women diet and exercise to squeeze into a “size 3” or smaller, women in countries such as Egypt that are “sizes 14” or larger get the whistles over the slender women.

Again, as for beautiful people, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder…

What and who is beautiful in God’s eyes?

Everything and everyone---After all, he’s the master creator of it all! In His eyes, we’re all beautiful. In fact some of the folks society has deemed unattractive are exceptionally lovely in His eyes. Take the late Mother Theresa. I can’t think of anyone with more beautiful hands than those that cupped the sick and dying.

And as for Lord, feet* are more beautiful than any drop-dead gorgeous face. Move over Brad Pitt. Surely, no one has more beautiful feet that evangelist Billy Graham, who for more than fifty years, has preached to more than 210 million people in more than 185 countries the simple message of salvation through Jesus Christ.

Yes, beauty may be in the eyes of the beholder but our God has made all things beautiful---even big club feet and dirty snow!

....*How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news. Romans 10:15 (NIV)

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