Wednesday, May 7, 2008


Dr Richard Beck has written an amazing blog series on the topic of Ugly as seen from an intellectual Christian perspective. It is truly fascinating and humbling stuff.

I recommend anyone read it, although I will issue a warning that it can be quite heady at times. Be patient and let the meaning come through to you, like divine reading.

Dr Beck is flipping definitions on their head concerning the outlook/viewpoint of the world and how it (should) differ from the outlook/viewpoint of a Christian. It has an air of "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" with a twist of "since God created all things, are not all things beautiful" mixed in. He references many works of art, some very religious and others secular, and all with some suggestion of ugly. Some of these pieces are truly gutteral and visceral; it is challenging to see beyond pain and shame, but that is his challenge exactly. We define beauty in our own world, and everything outside of that realm is considered to be 'less than'. We sell oursleves very short to think in those terms. Think about the moments where your life has been ugly. Can we afford, spiritually and emotionally, to shut out those in need just because we find them unpleasant? Read his blogs and really absorb their message. It is a humbling journey.

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