I have spent a large majority of my life looking at paintings

Moments of time and segments of the universe captured on different shapes and sizes of canvas
I become mesmerized by the subtle stroke of the brush
The way the artist so delicately depicts areas and aspects to scale
To the point that my heart feels a sudden rush
As if I could reach my hand out and touch every last detail
As if this was a dream
Caught up in the scene
I find my heart slipping further and further into love

This is a story of my bent
I prefer shadows

This is not a conscious decision that I resolved to make
To be honest, images are just easier for me to take
Easily digested, I could chew all day
And eventually be able to wrap my mind around what the picture is trying to say

So I stare
I stare deeply into the deepest point of the portrait
Thinking that the pain of this world around me will somehow let go
Hoping that somehow this paradigm will satisfy my soul

But I end up empty
I end up thirsty
Longing for a drink
And once again I return, crawling to Your feet
Broken, ashamed, desperate for relief
I have chased creation to its end and wound up on my knees
Begging for forgiveness while hoping You can’t see me
Because I know the truth about me

I know that You have delivered for my every need
But I also know that as soon as You give me manna, I start demanding meat
I know that You have been my Protector through pain and suffering
But I also know how quickly my heart asks where You are as soon as I can’t see the path beneath my feet

So don’t look at me
I can’t stand the sight of me
So how can You, in Your infinite glory, allow me to be in Your presence?

Yet You
With a voice that calms the sea of anxiety in my soul
Tell me to look up
And Your eyes
That see right through me
Tell me that You knew me
And I behold You in all Your beauty
And I’m satisfied
A heart that has constantly tried to find its purpose in everything else in life finally resides at rest

Because Your beauty is much more than infatuation
Your beauty provides my soul with satiation
Beauty that transcends to give Your children definition
For in Your presence I can clearly see that I’m not defined by my sins
My life is not marked by my bents
Because when I look into Your face the world grows strangely dim
And I fall in

You’re all that I see
All that I know
A son returning to his Father and a Father meeting him on the road
Welcoming me home
And before I can utter the words “I’m sorry”
You tell me that You already know

You know me
The real me
The me that I’ve been both chasing and running away from my entire life
So scared that if you were to cut me open with a knife
That disgust and darkness would be the color I would bleed
And that You would be embarrassed that You chose to ransom me

Yet that’s the me You know
That’s the me You love

So I give up
I give in
And I extend my broken, desperate, calloused skin to touch the edge of Your robe
And even just the fringes brings healing to my soul
For what seems like the first time in my life I see You as beautiful
Wholly, completely enough
No longer am I staring at empty promises painted on pointless portraits
But instead I’m peering into pure love

You are better than the things that I’ve been chasing
You are beautiful
You are my joy in the trials that I am facing
You are beautiful
Peace to my storm, stronger than my addiction
Help in my time of need, comfort in my affliction
You are beautiful
And You will forever be

So fix my eyes to consistently see
Cause my mind to constantly think
Give my heart a new song to sing
Fill my lungs so that they always breathe
For You are beautiful


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