Messy Beautiful

Messy Beautiful

Messy Can Be Beautiful

By Beth Demme

My daughter is an artist. She has always had an eye for shape and color and an incredible ability to understand spatial relationships. I find her skills especially amazing because they are so different from my own.

Spatial relationships–and all things geometrical–are fairly mysterious to me.

I remember feeling utter confusion as a child looking at the night sky. It looked two-dimensional to me. My parents assured me the stars were spread out in every direction, but the whole scene looked like a dot-to-dot puzzle on a flat piece of paper. I couldn’t comprehend the depth of space.

This, however, will never be a problem for my daughter. She can envision and create in a way that marvels me.

Several years ago she made this heart in an art class.

messy heart

It’s messy beautiful, right?

I liked the colors and the size so I hung it in a frame by my bathroom sink. I see it all the time. I stand next to it when I wash my hands, brush my teeth, or (ugh) get on the scale.

I see it so often, I sometimes lose sight of how beautiful it is.

Isn’t it strange how that happens? Something special becomes common because it’s always there. Before long, it’s so common it becomes invisible.

This art piece became invisible because I saw it multiple times a day.

I recently re-discovered its beauty and I’m so glad I did; it’s reminding me to #LiveLoved.

My daughter created this heart from lots of messy bits. As I stared at this heart the other day, I realized this heart and I have a lot in common.

I’m a bundle of messy bits, too.

Some of the individual bits are beautiful. I am who I am because of love, joy, friendship, and faith.

But some of the pieces in this heart are irregular and off-color. Me, too. I struggle with selfishness, pride, fear, envy, and anger (just to name a few).

If I took this heart apart, I would have a pile of imperfect pieces. The individual pieces wouldn’t make any sense. They aren’t anything to look at on their own. But together they make something beautiful.

My friend Kathleen says, “there is beauty to be found, regardless of our circumstances, life situation or feelings.  Beauty is everywhere and around us every day – we see it when we take time to look.”

The messy heart my daughter created is the perfect illustration of two important things Kathleen says.

First, the individual pieces of the heart are like the difficult situations and hard feelings we each face. Isn’t it incredible how a pile of difficult and imperfect pieces can be made into something beautiful?

Second, we have to look for the beauty. I lost sight of how beautiful and meaningful this heart is because I failed to pause and really look at it.

We are surrounded by beauty, but we miss it.

Sometimes the beautiful becomes ordinary and then invisible. Sometimes we miss the beauty because we’re looking at the wrong part of the picture. Sometimes we need to step back and look at the whole beautiful picture instead of focusing on the hard, ugly pieces.

For me, finding the beauty all around me is integral to learning to live loved. What about you? Do you see the beauty in your life or are you focused on the broken bits? Have you become blind to the beauty all around you? Tell me about it in the comments, in an e-mail, on Facebook or Twitter.


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A Christian who loves to think, read, and laugh. A wife and mom with more love than I deserve. I have a passion for public speaking. I'm a blogger and a lawyer, but wait ... there's more, I'm still figuring it all out.

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