by Kelly Vetter, written January 2016
I’m sitting here mulling over what I’ve been blessed with. I just can’t comprehend it. Every single day I think about it. I’ve been given three months in Italy. An abundance of opportunities. To learn and to embrace a new culture, to meet people, to forge genuine friendships, and to see new sites. But above all, I’ve been able to pursue creativity and beauty in every single day. It’s been everywhere that I turn. Like a kaleidoscope, I keep turning and shifting, and I see something new every time. He never ceases to amaze me; His beauty has blown me away.
When I think about the beauty that I’ve encountered on this journey countless things come to mind- people, places, precious moments shared together. I’m going to treasure all of these things in my heart, like Mary did, and never let them go. I will hold onto them with all that I am. Italy has captured my heart and become a part of me. It holds a dear part of my heart. But the pinnacle of beauty for me was Sicily. Never have I seen a place so ruggedly, yet so flawlessly beautiful. I was in complete awe of God. How could something so beautiful exist for my eyes to behold? Those six days spent in Sicily were perfect. I constantly replay them in my mind. They changed me. His beauty changed me.
On a perfect fall morning that Tuesday we drove away from the sea, up, up into the mountains, to Mt. Etna. God met me there. Mt. Etna was the most beautiful thing I have ever laid eyes on. It was unlike anything that I have ever seen. The barren landscape that stretched endlessly met up with the clouds that spread out like a blanket, capped by the peak of the volcano, framed by the endless blue sky. It was there, walking along the volcano’s ridge, looking down at the black sand beneath my feet, and up above into the seemingly endless blue sky that I wondered who am I to behold His beauty with unworthy eyes? I was standing in this landscape that was oceanic; it could swallow me up. And I was reminded of His love for me. He loves me tirelessly. And I get to enter into His greatness, His grace. Again and again. What a Saviour that I have. What a privilege that I carry.
I am constantly reminded of His greatness, of everything that He is. But He convicted me in that moment. He showed me that He is far greater than I can imagine, but even in His greatness there is room for me. He wants to let me into the secret of His beauty. There are these lyrics that I had been listening to, but on that Tuesday is when I truly listened to them for the first time. It was God’s whisper to me that day.
Holy is the Lord revealed before my eyes
And my burdened heart can scarcely take it in
As I behold Your beauty with unworthy eyes
The only song my soul can find to sing
Is hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, my King
I can’t get Mt. Etna out of my mind. I truly am unworthy to behold beauty like that. I don’t deserve to lay eyes on His masterpieces. But His grace allows me to. This truth is what I clung to on this journey. His beauty is all around, and I don’t deserve it. But He loves me so, and He wants me to behold it, for His greatness to be revealed before my eyes. And sometimes it leaves me without words. But hallelujah will suffice. He just wants me to enter in. That’s all. Take the first step into the unknown, in oceans deep my faith will stand. And that is where He will take me deeper still. He has taken me deeper. Into the realm of His beauty, that has elicited awe in me. It has woke up my wonder. And in that wonder in Him I have been driven even further into this desire to create. To emulate the beauty that I see in Him and from Him and to open Heaven here on earth, to reveal Him, to make that dent I so desperately want to make. Italy was just the threshold. I’ve now just begun this journey of finding the beauty in every day.