In the fall of 2000, I spent four months living and working with Word Made Flesh and Missionaries of Charity in Kathmandu Nepal. It was a hard, challenging, and stretching time in my life: physically (I contracted tuberculosis), emotionally (being exposed to poverty and suffering on a level I’d never before experienced), and spiritually (asking questions about God’s goodness and presence in the midst of such brokenness and suffering). I often felt at the end of my rope. But every night as we lay on our hard camp cots, before we drifted to sleep, Kipp would ask us, “What did you see that was beautiful today?”
The first few times, I didn’t have any response. It was hard for me to see beauty there. Yet gradually I noticed a change in me – I would find myself looking for beautiful things throughout the day. It could be something as simple as the smile of a child, the kindness of a woman who was begging, the generosity of a friend who made his home on the street, unexpected laughter, or grace, or life… And I realized, there was so much beauty around me, if only I would stop and notice it. I want to see beauty daily, here in Chicago. I want to be searching for beauty, inhabiting beauty… I want to be someone who finds beauty all around them because they are looking for it.
“The world is charged with the grandeur of the glory of God…” and I want to notice it.