today: on beauty

“It sometimes happens that a woman is handsomer at twenty-nine than she was ten years before.”
-Jane Austen

The world God called good when he made it is beautiful.


Sometimes a fleeting moment of remembering to see strikes a heart to the core. The soul awakens. Love abounds. It is good. It really is good.

And broken, yes.
And good.

That means that people, created in this world that God called good, are beautiful. Part of the joy of doing photography is seeing beauty in people: their eyes or their smile are often most telling individually but interactions of someone loving another whisper and shout chapters of life lived beautifully. I had to go through some old files tonight and thought about this a lot.

(from the Fly blog)

As a woman, created in this world God called good, believing beauty exists in me is challenging. Culture dictates a cheapened but attractive definition of beauty, one that few measure up to. The pursuit of it drains life while deceiving the heart. For a long time, I thought it wasn’t important.

When I was moving back to Texas, I took a train all over the country. One stop was in Washington, and I visited my friend Nate. We ate some meals together and drank beer and talked a lot. This is generally the formula for being my friend. Towards the end of our visit, Nate told me he needed to say something important.

“You are really beautiful,” he said, “but you don’t believe it.”

Insecurity disguised itself in annoyance, and I did not respond.

Nate dropped me off at the house I was staying at, and I stared at the mirror for a long time and realized I agreed with him. I didn’t believe it. It kinda bothered me. I didn’t know why then. It started to matter though, because I recognized my identity was woven in the midst of the world God created and called good.

And broken, yes.
And good.

Nate helped me. The way I looked at myself started to change. And it changed the way I looked at others too. I still don’t have it worked out, ever the slow learner… The dim glass through which we see ourselves so often reflects right on to how we see others. Nate’s words kept pounding in my head for a few days, and God used them to fuse my soul with some belief that what he said was true. Because the dim glass through which we see ourselves is often eradicated by the truth others speak (or blurred by lies they tell).

It is really important to see beauty. And to call it out in others. To do so is to recognize we are a part of the world God called good. It is an expression of the best possible way to live.



4 responses to “today: on beauty

  1. you ARE beautiful. and amazing. love you my friend!

  2. Erin, you are SO beautiful. I would have never thought that you didn’t know. 🙂

    I know that wasn’t the point of your post. But I just wanted to affirm that truth.

  3. Your last paragraph is so, *SO* true. Beauty in others, beauty in the world….

    wonderful blog, I love seeing the marriage you make of both substance and content. {went to school in VA w/ your sister bridget :)} keep up the lovely work!

  4. Not substance and content! I meant substance (ie content) and STYLE!!!

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