Institute for Studies in Asian Church and Culture (ISACC)
Transforming Cultures through Christ and His Kingdom
I wish that most sermons are crafted thoughtfully and beautifully as you did in your sermon, Dr. Maggay. Your message loudly shouts at me that I left a significant portion in my spiritual journey. I need to retrieve it to complete my pilgrimage. Having lived here in the US for almost three decades, I continue to be driven by a desire to stock my food pantry and bank account as much as I can because any moment my primal instinct echoes the sound of things crashing, vanishing. Every time I wake up, I plot and plan to gather more stuff because the voice inside of me thunders that the gadgets that calm my nerve will be gone any moment.
The first casualty of poverty as I discovered, is our sense of aesthetics. Beauty is irrelevant, a non-entity when you can’t think because all you center your mind into is food. Often I forget that I have enough food in my pantry to last for months and that I have enough money for the things I want. For this reason, I become oblivious to the beauty and grace that surround me. Sadly, I am too involved with what I can eat and because of poverty I am too cynical about human nature.
Transcending the ugliness carved in my consciousness by poverty is almost next to impossible. It is tattooed in my being. My wife, who is Irish American is the opposite. The first thing she thinks about is her paintings, her projects, her garden. Beauty and a default for wonder are like breathing in and breathing out for her. The least of her priorities is food.
What I heard you saying is that an immense part of the image of God in humans is a sense for aesthetics. It is not a footnote but a keynote in creation. God enveloped us with beauty and grace for us to evolve as humans. It has been a struggle to circle in beauty and the majesty that is around me and edge out eye sores that crowd my view of the world. It’s a long time coming for me but I am beginning to see that it will come. Perhaps, geography really changes a person inside out.
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