Josh j Smith

June 23, 2008, 2:35 pm
Filed under: religion | Tags: , , ,


Beauty is mysterious.  The question of what makes something beautiful is always answered, but never really understood.  Beauty is achieved when it emerges from ugliness.  In other words beauty is order out of chaos.  

What is beautiful about the creation story is that we encounter the God of beauty.  How that beauty came about is not as important as who.  In the creation story we see God separating water from sky, land from water, sky animals from land animals, land animals from sea animals, and humans from all the other creatures. From this story, beauty emerges from nothing, chaos, ugliness.  In essence, it is God’s first act of redemption.  

Beauty then defines what it means to be human.  From the beginning God’s has given humans a creational mandate to subdue and have dominion over the earth.  Therefore, God gave us the responsibility of taking what he has created, and continue to make it beautiful.  The human ability to separate, organize the elements of creation for the betterment of life provides a glimpse of God’s desire for creating humans in his image. 

A White Lotus is a gorgeous flower.  But the beauty of this flower is not merely explained in its intricate design and bright color.  I think the beauty of the white lotus is found in its roots, in its story.  The white Lotus is a flower that grows out of swamp like conditions and blossoms right above the water.  What ends up happening is the the flower redeems surrounding murky water.  

White Lotus is not only a flower, it is a mission that exists in Phenom Pehn Cambodia, that provides a safe place for young girls who have been forced into the prostitute industry.  

Extreme poverty forces families and individuals to make extreme choices to keep their families or them self from dying of hunger or disease.  One choice for a family is to sell their daughter to the prostitute industry to get a substantial amount of money.  The younger the better because that means th more virgin they are.  Once the girl is sold to a brothel, then she is oxygen off to highest bidder (most likely a foreign man).  

International Justice Mission and White Lotus work hard to make sure that these girls are rescued from the brothels and put into a safe place.  In addition, make sure that the brothels are properly prosecuted.  The organization then provides job training and reconnects the girl with her family if possilble.  

That is beautiful because IJM, White Lotus, and these young girls are able to demonstrate an alternative story from the murky nature of people’s lost identity in the creational mandate.  


I began to think about gospel and realized that gospel does not bring beauty it is beauty.  Gospel is not Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John in our NIV bible.  Gospel is beauty.  Gospel is IJM and White Lotus where they are living an alternative story, the story of Jesus who emerged from death to bring life.  

In the same way, Jesus followers are called to separate death from life where ever we can though the love of God.  The challenge is that we have to get murky, we have to encounter death so that we can be agents of restoration and reconciliation.



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