ADVERTISING
 
Sunday, August 19   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 

 
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 
 

POLL
New season
What kind of contents do you enjoy most?






SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



René Breuel
 

Pied Beauty

Praise God for who he is and for who we are, however we may be.

CULTURE MAKING AUTHOR René Breuel 05 MAY 2018 17:00 h GMT+1
Photo: Manu Camargo. Unsplash

How can we handle imperfection? Imperfection in others, imperfection in ourselves, that unnerving quality which prevents us from calling something fully black or white, beautiful or ugly?



Something deep in us calls for clarity. We long for clean-cut categories, for heroes and villains. That is much easier to manage. A cloudless sky or a face without wrinkles: that I can admire.



A bitter pudding or a sick animal: that I can pity. So much of our effort is to get rid of imperfections, to photoshop our lives into endless grace and glamour. See, for example, how quickly a woman beautiful in her singularity can be made into an all-too-perfect doll.



 





What about dappled things? What about the imperfections inside myself–my vices and distortions alongside my integrity and good intentions? Do they have any place? Do we have to get rid of our limitations even if that includes getting rid of our own humanity?



Recently I came across a poem which raised these questions to me. It’s called Pied Beauty. It’s a modern psalm where Gerard Manley Hopkins extolls the worth of imperfect things. Actually, he calls for praise to God for them.




Glory be to God for dappled things –



For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;



For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;



Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;



Landscape plotted and pieced – fold, fallow, and plough;



And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.



All things counter, original, spare, strange;



Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)



With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;



He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:



Praise him.




I found Hopkins’s perspective refreshing. We usually complain about dappled things–and admire God for his perfection. I had never heard someone want to sing to God because of our defects and complexities, who can find reason for praise in them, out of them.



What moved me especially was finding out how personal that praise rose from Hopkins. He was attracted to other men but decided to become a priest and live a celibate life.



I wonder how many times he asked for God to remove this desire from him. How easier life must have felt for those who did not have to bear this inner tension.



Yet Hopkins decides to praise God. And that makes me want to praise God all the more.



Praise God for who he is and for who we are, however we may be. We don’t check our struggles at the door, we arrive to God with them. Because of them. All things spare, strange, dim–all of us, you and me–praise Him.


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - - Pied Beauty
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church

An interview with Lars Dahle, of the Steering Committee of the Lausanne Movement Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity held in Rome.

 
Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation

Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care? What has creation care to do with "loving our neighbours"? An interview with the Global Advocacy and Influencing Director of Tearfund.

 
Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA

“Prostitution is nobody’s dream,  it’s a very traumatic lifestyle”, says Kathy Bryan, director of the Elevate Academy. She mentors former victims.

 
Christians in politics? Christians in politics?

What is the role of Christians serving in politics? An interview with Auke Minnema, the new General Director of the European Christian Political Movement (ECPM).

 
Michael Ramsden: Communicating the Gospel in today’s societies Michael Ramsden: Communicating the Gospel in today’s societies

RZIM International Director Michael Ramsden responds to questions about the secularisation of Europe, the role of Christians in public leadership and the new ‘culture of victimism’.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
Sharing Jesus with World Cup fans in Moscow Sharing Jesus with World Cup fans in Moscow

A team of Steiger mission is starting conversations about the gospel in the middst of the football celebration in Russia.

 
Analysing current issues in the light of the Bible Analysing current issues in the light of the Bible

At the 2018 Apologetics Forum in Comarruga (Spain), Michael Ramsden, Pablo Martinez, Ruth Valerio and José de Segovia analysed how society and the Bible approach the issues of personal identity, integrity, sexuality, pop culture, and environmental care.

 
European “Bridges to Inclusion” gathering 2018, in Riga European “Bridges to Inclusion” gathering 2018, in Riga

The network of Christian ministries working for the inclusion of people with disabilities, celebrated its tenth continental meeting in Latvia with the participation of 12 countries.

 

 
VIDEO Video
 
How the loss of universal values led to a loss of civility How the loss of universal values led to a loss of civility

Author Bruce Little: “We have moved from a sense of responsibility to ‘my personal rights’”.

 
Being a peacemaker Being a peacemaker

Ken Sande, Founder and President of Relational Wisdom 360, develops a practical systematic theology for pursuing peace and resolving the conflicts of real life. 

 
“No one should have to leave their values at the door” “No one should have to leave their values at the door”

Author Krish Kandiah talks with politician Tim Farron about the Christian faith, politics and secularism.

 
What are the essential characteristics of a godly leader? What are the essential characteristics of a godly leader?

Clinical Pastoral Counsellor Emoke Tapolyai reflect on three characteristics Christians who have been given leadership roles should develop.

 
Reaching non-Christian ‘Christians’ Reaching non-Christian ‘Christians’

How can we reach those who call themselves ‘Christians’ but have not experienced a conversion to Christ? Forty missiologists and mission practitioners came together for a Lausanne Movement global consultation in Rome.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.