"Suddenly, there came in the direction of Dome du Goûter a crash – of prolonged thunder; and when I looked up, I saw the cloud cloven, as it were by the avalanche itself, whose white stream came bounding down the eastern slope of the mountain, like slow lightning. The vapour parted before its fall, pierced by the whirlwind of its motion; the gap widened, the dark shade melted away on either side; and, like a risen spirit casting off its garment of corruption, and flushed with eternity of life, the Aiguilles of the south broke through the black foam of the storm clouds. One by one, pyramid above pyramid, the mighty range of its companions shot off their shrouds, and took to themselves their glory — all fire — no shade — no dimness. Spire of ice — dome of snow — wedge of rock — all fire in the light of the sunset, sank into the hollows of the crags — and pierced through the prisms of the glaciers, and dwelt within them — as it does in clouds. The ponderous storm writhed and moaned beneath them, the forests wailed and waved in the evening wind, the steep river flashed and leaped along the valley; but the mighty pyramids stood calmly — in the very heart of the high heaven — a celestial city with walls of amethyst and gates of gold — filled with the light and clothed with the Peace of God. And then I learned — what till then I had not known — the real meaning of the word Beautiful. With all that I had ever seen before — there had come mingled the associations of humanity — the exertion of human power — the action of human mind. The image of self had not been effaced in that of God. …It was then that I understood that all which is the type of God's attributes . . . can turn the human soul from gazing upon itself . . . and fix the spirit . . . on the types of that which is to be its food for eternity; — this and this only is in the pure and right sense of the word beautiful."
(John Ruskin, Modern Painters)
"But we must be careful here… one of the mistakes we so often make when captured by an object of beauty, whether its a place, a person, or a work of art, is to assume the longing in our heart is for the thing before us. … The beauty that so captures our heart and is so fleeting draws us toward the eternal reality." (John Eldredge, Sacred Romance)
Beauty in this life is meant to draw our heart’s affection to the Beautiful One – the true and solid beauty behind all shadows of beauty. My love of beauty is only truly satisfied and fulfilled in Jesus Christ. The rest leave me thirsty.
"When most oppressed, when most weary of life, as our unbelief would phrase it, let us remind ourselves that it is in truth the inroad and presence of death we are weary of. When most inclined to sleep, let us rouse ourselves to live. Of all things let us avoid the false refuge of a weary collapse, a hopeless yielding to things as they are. It is the life in us that is discontented. We need more of what is discontented, not more of the cause of its discontent."
(George MacDonald, Your Life in Christ)
"Every man dies, not every man really lives."
"Tis hard for us to rouse our spirits up –
It is the human creative agony
Though but to hold the heart an empty cup
Or tighten on the team the rigid rein
Many will rather lie among the slain
Than creep through the narrow ways the light to gain –
Than wake the will, and be born bitterly."
(George MacDonald, Diary of an Old Soul)