Today’s post is designed to shamelessly exploit the spectacular cuteness of our amazing grandchildren! With a photograph like this I could easily say nothing at all and still score 1,000 or more hits by the end of the day.
But you’re not going to get off that easily. If you have clicked on this page for the picture, then “welcome;” but now you’re here I’d like to invite you to read a few words before you go surfing the web for the next adorable image.
ADORABLE: We live in a world where looks are too often valued ahead of substance, so I’m praying from the bottom of my heart that my grandchildren will learn what is truly worthwhile. I try to cover a broad range of scripture in this blog, but close analysis will likely reveal more quotes from the book of Philippians than any other. Here’s one of my favorites:
Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you. (4:8-9)
DANGER: What’s at play here is the principle that truth, honor, justice, purity, affirmation, and excellence are the qualities that count. Some of the celebrated “beauty” that’s been splashed across the public stage recently has in fact appeared repulsive because looks are paper-thin without integrity, or purity, or justice, or honor.
So, dear lovely granddaughter and most precious grandson, I pray that you become disciples of light and life, and faithful followers of the savior whose beauty was (and is) such a startling contrast to the values of this world; such a contrast that he was considered dangerous.
Yes, I’m talking about dangerous beauty. Because hearts so attuned to the Spirit of God do not hold a passive beauty, but an active loveliness, a beauty that begins to transform the world.
Vapid narcissism and vacuous attractiveness can suck life from the space (and the people) around them; whereas beauty of spirit always adds light, enhances life, challenges, and is proactively transformational. And, consequently, dangerous.
So I guess I’m also praying for those representatives of the shallow cult of attractiveness who promote values that are so at odds with spiritual life.
CHARGE: Be as cute as you are, grandkids, be as adorable as you were created to be, and be as attractive as these pictures reveal; but I pray beauty for you, too, the real spiritual beauty of “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, all that is excellent and worthy of praise” – be like this.
I love you – Grandaddy Derek