I think He is beautiful. Perhaps no more so than when he hung - beaten, bloody, suffering - on the cross. When I hear myself say that, my rational mind says eww, but my heart says "yes."
Pondering this, 2 Corinthians 1:4-5 comes to mind:
"[God] comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When others are troubled, we will be able to give the the same comfort God has given us. You can be sure that the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ."
And I think of what Elisabeth Kubler-Ross once said:
"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”
Beautiful people are created by the trials they live through, the way they live through them, and how they use those experiences to love and comfort others. Our trails can either harden us or purify us.
In It's No Secret I wrote: "So it is with our trails. They're intense, and often last longer than we think we can endure. It hurts when God uses His shaping and buffing tools on our lives via our trials. Yet we can emerge stronger, more beautiful, more Christ-reflecting and more valuable to God and others as a result."
So that's what I'm thinking about beauty today.