Everyone has her/his own reaction to being in the presence of someone or something they deeply admire. In the presence of sports stars some go weak kneed, stumbling to talk with the confidence friends and family are used to. Others find the presence of an entertainer comes with a trembling within that s/he cannot control. I have friends that find themselves in the same state of being with a politician, artist, or in some cases investors. It is as if the internal awe factor is directly linked to our senses; when one goes off the chart, everything follows!
My self-awareness reminds me, as it did recently, that any creator of beauty triggers a deep quietness within. A photographer that has captured something magical, speaking volumes in the silence of reflective gaze. An artist that captures the emotions I have been struggling to understand or articulate on canvas, unaware of the voice we have in common. The fellow traveler who shares a truth, unaware that this pearl is what my heart and soul have been looking for to heal.
In the presence of each, there are recurring reactions within and without.
Unconditional gifts of beauty, insight, and ultimately truth are gifts of awe. The beauty and power within them penetrate every wall we have between us and others. When another is not aware, the psalmist admonition comes to mind; “Tremble, Earth! You’re in the Lord’s presence! in the presence of Jacob’s God.” (Psalm 114.7)
Beauty and truth are transformative, even if we are not looking to be transformed. Experience reminds me that being in the present of either and especially both changes me from the inside out! My heart’s healing quickens. Hope bathes me with a light that is always brighter.
One can anticipate, but one rarely predicts with the complete accuracy. Beauty is all its forms is naturally overwhelming. It touches everything around it without being diminished. It expands all that it touches.
It is good to be awed. Letting go, experiencing life’s gifts of beauty is our best way to prepare for what lies ahead.