Beauty in the face of evil

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

I haven't been able to work up too much enthusiasm for a tea post in the past couple days.

I've always wanted this blog to be a place of beauty, a respite from the stress of daily life, a place where the beautiful matters . . . So forgive me if I open the door a little, and allow some of the very real ugliness, the very real evil of the world, to seep in through the crack just for a moment.

I can't get this picture out of my mind . . .   21 Christians kneeling, waiting to be beheaded by ISIS terrorists. 

Anything I would show you in the way of pretty teacups or flowers or lovely books seems somehow so trivial in comparison.

It seems wrong to be enjoying a cup of tea, sorting through makeup, and planning a new wardrobe for when I reach my weight-loss goals, which is what I was doing when I heard the news, and to share all that shallow stuff with you.


So there's a lot I could write, but I'll just leave it at this.

Daily life is full of an embarrassing amount of trivia, but there you are . . . 

We also pray, we love, we forgive, we sacrifice, we do the best we can and then try and do a little more.

And we remember, even after this latest atrocity in a whole string of horrific atrocities, that the beautiful does matter . . .  it is infinitely important. The warm smile of a good friend, a gorgeous sunset, the sacrifice of a husband taking care of his wife with Alzheimer's, freshly fallen snow sparkling in the sunshine . . . even a cup of tea shared with a friend, chatting about a pretty shade of lipstick.


The most real things in life are the most beautiful; courage and grace and hope and faith. You saw it on the faces of those 21 martyrs. Look at them again. They were beautiful. 

And they are now with the Author of beauty Himself. 

 I want to have eyes to see beauty in all its manifestations, to hold it up in defiance of the evil that surrounds us, to have the courage to cling fast to Beauty like those martyrs did. 


Yes, our world leaders need wisdom. They need our prayers. We have a lot of work to do, and we will need courage. But we rejoice in knowing that Beauty and Truth and Goodness will win; has already won.

Sharing today with Sandi.

32 comments :

  1. You're so right, Deborah, as it all seems so trivial, when beautiful lives are taken from us in such an evil way. We keep on going, though, hoping, praying and trying our best to make our lives and those surrounding us, more beautiful and special. We have to, for it's what we know, and we pray for those who are left without their loved ones.

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  2. A beautiful, heartfelt post, my friend...you are right though, when we hear about these horrific things that happen, it does have a way of seeing the everyday things we concern ourselves with as being so ridiculous and unimportant. I do know that it is also satan's way of discouraging God's people and we have to be careful not to let him win. All I can wonder is how much worse can this evil world get? Answers that only our Father already knows. Thank you for this, Deborah...I believe God still wants us to think on beautiful matters :) Stay warm!

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  3. Amen! A well written post, Deborah. Yes, the atrocities of this world can really bring us down. And we need to have our hearts break, feel pain, and pray for those who are persecuted. But we also need to focus on the beautiful things in life and ponder verses like Philippians 4:8. God can help us keep it all in perspective. Thank you for sharing from your heart today and joining me for tea.

    Blessings and hugs,
    Sandi

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  4. Deborah, sometimes we just have to say something. Sometimes the evil just gets to be too much. I understand totally. Most of us use our blogs as a way to cope, by sharing pretty things and not delving into the ugliness that is in the world. It's not that we don't know that horrible things are happening. We just need a place, places to go where we can rest from them. We are bombarded by the news on TV, radio, the web etc. and have an administration that is of no help. It's overwhelming and sometimes we just need to shut it out. Your blog is beautiful and you bring peace and happiness and a way to escape from some harsh realities. Nothing wrong with that ! (())

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  5. I also want to have eyes to see beauty when it eludes us, and courage and strength to overcome evil that feels as though it's surrounding us. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. It's important. I had a friend, yesterday evening, post the names of every single one of the martyrs. It was sombering to read, along with a little history of that area where it is believed they were murdered. Simon of Cyrene and St. Mark were from that general area also.

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  6. What a well-written post. Thank you so much for sharing this. I have had the same thoughts myself, especially when I am tempted to complain about some difficulty in my everyday life. What I am dealing with is nothing ... nothing! .. in light of what persecuted believers are dealing with.

    And yes, the beautiful is so important too. As Sandi noted, God does instruct us to think on things that are lovely. And also on things that are true; you have covered both in this post. This is my first visit to your blog, but I will stop in again. The beautiful does indeed matter.

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  7. We have a friend who is a Coptic Christian and still has family in Egypt. . .I hope they are all safe. It is hard to fathom. One cannot take religious freedom for granted. The evil that did this WANTS to take away our happiness and love for beauty.

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  8. Sandi: Your post touch my heart today. Yes, I saw their faces, they were ready to met Jesus, this I know. I can't understand that much hate, I just can't. So we continue to pray for their families and other who are stuck in the same place, somewhere else in the world. Thank you for reminding us of our duty to pray. Hugs, Martha

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  9. Beautiful thoughts that reach out and touch hearts.

    Thank you ~ FlowerLady

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  10. Amen! I am new to your blog but I am enjoying it so much.

    I know what you mean - it was hard to post and that it seems frivolous to talk about everyday things. But it is so important, and good to rejoice in everyday life and to rejoice in beauty. The Creator of beauty has it all in His hands.

    Deanna

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  11. Yes. This is the ongoing dilemma with blogging. I have never found the balance. I read that Prince Charles has said that at this rate there will be no Christians left in that part of the world. Sadly, the bad news just keeps coming as this horror is already no longer the most recent nightmare. Thank you for posting what has been on your heart and in so many of ours, too.

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  12. Yes, the ugly face of evil is hard to fathom and even harder to understand. We try to enjoy our lives and families, but our hearts break for those who sacrifice their lives to those who refuse to see the beauty and love in this world. Our young men give their lives to fight this evil and have throughout our country's history, to preserve freedom throughout the world. This is what they fight for. This is what our country stands for - to fight for freedom and an end to tyranny. Let's pray we have the world to stand beside us in our fight for freedom. Le't pray for those innocents who suffer. - Karen

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  13. Dearest Deborah,
    Well, I have to give you a tight hug for writing such a post!
    My Chapters about Pieter's trip to India are leading to such martyrs as well. Glad that you mustered the courage to speak out in a world where especially the liberal media is looking the other way and our president is such a disgrace to so many people of faith!
    Let's pray and hope that there will be some action as this cannot go on forever. What about the next generations? In what world do they have to live...
    Thanks again and let us even be more grateful for our daily little indulgences like enjoying a tea.
    Hugs and blessings,
    Mariette

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  14. Everyone else has said it all.
    Thank you, and Amen.

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  15. We must always, ALWAYS remember that it's not a matter of people like those martyrs living real, deep lives, while we spoiled westerners live shallow vapid lives. The reality is that we carry the torch of freedom/beauty/peace/normality, while they carry the burden of horror. But now? Those men are in perfect peace, freedom, beauty. It's their families, their friends and children who burden my heart. How will they avoid being consumed by anger and revenge? They need prayer to avoid that evil in their own hearts. But by celebrating beauty and the lovely things of life that may seem shallow, we are vindicating what they died for. We are declaring that there is a different life that everyone should be able to possess. Both are important.

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  16. What a beautiful post Sandi. I am moved by your heart. Thank you for sharing this.
    ~heather elizabeth

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  17. Dear Deborah, your post touches my heart. Your words, well written are so very true. Everything seems so trivial in the face of this kind of horror in our world. Yes, we must pray that our leaders experience a conviction in their hearts for change and action. Without that kind of courage, our world will only get worse.
    I agree with M.K. about celebrating beauty. We must not free our own freedoms even in the face of evil!
    Thank you for sharing this important message over a cup of tea.
    Be Blessed my friend and enjoy a nice weekend.
    Hugs, CM

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  18. This is beautiful. The truest beauty of all. "The most real things in life are the most beautiful; courage and grace and hope and faith." A huge amen.

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  19. We are so privileged to live in America, where are lives are not [currently] at stake regarding faith. We do honor to these precious martyrs by remembering them and praying for their families. We also honor them by praying for the salvation of those who murdered them, by serving God daily however he asks, by loving those in our lives well, and by loving and praying for those who come across our path daily--whatever that entails. Sometimes this will mean stepping out of our comfort zone, for example, by attending a prayer meeting or volunteering to support immigrants of a different faith or mentoring a young person or by writing a thoughtful blog post. Thank you, Deborah.

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  20. PS I meant to add that I'm speaking to myself, first and foremost--finding balance in life is something I struggle with.

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  21. Thank you for this, Deborah. It is important to remember what you've written about when we let fear overwhelm us. And recognizing the beauty, small and large, in our lives does help. I always try to remind myself of the "whatsoevers" of Philippians 4:8 and think of things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and of good report.

    And your post helps me be able to do that at this time.

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  22. Deborah, I truly believe that true evil is alive and well, being fed to people whose hearts and souls are already lost. What makes it more horrible is it is being carried out in the name of religion. The people who do things like this cannot be believers of anything, even their own humanity. Wherever you are in the world, whatever your God or belief, as long as you are not harming or pushing your thoughts on anyone else, you should be left in peace. And you are right of course, small things of beauty MUST be cultivated, or perish the thought, our own hearts could one day start to accept these appalling incidents as normal.

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  23. The evil that surrounds us is oppressive and brutal. it frightens me and reinforces my belief that each of us can make the world a better place by our actions and intentions. Lovely post Deborah

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  24. Hi Deborah: It is truly horrible what evil there is in the world. It is frightening and it seems sometimes like it is on the Tv as soon as you turn it on (or on your homepage if it happens to be msn like mine). It is taking the time to share things that make you happy with others that help make the world just a bit brighter.

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  25. Oh, Deborah, no wonder I felt lead to finally break down and ask you about posts. I was supposed to read this for SURE. This is perfect. You are so right.

    Yes, Satan is hitting with a fury knowing the time is short.

    I just want you to know you are a special and kindred spirit. God bless you and keep you safe always.

    Praying hard for this world! have a blessed Lenten Season.

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  26. A friend posted this on Facebook this morning. If you have not see it yet I came over to give you the link. Oh my how amazing and shows how the LIGHT will always triumph.

    http://www.mrctv.org/blog/heart-stopping-brother-slain-coptic-christians-thanks-isis-youll-never-believe-why#xS0fDA:cmD
    ( you might have to copy this into your browser / not sure : )

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    1. Yes, this is a beautiful testimony. Thanks for sharing Deb.

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  27. I took the time to comment on this as I agreed with everything you said, and yet my comment has been excluded.

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    1. I am very sorry; some of my comments are not coming to my inbox, and remain in the "awaiting moderation" section of my blog, which I forget to check. I do appreciate you stopping by, and sharing! Thank you.

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  28. Such a sweet post, Deborah! It is important to remember the suffering church; they are in my thoughts and prayers.

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