Beauty converts the heart this day ... and every day, saving my soul, again. The roses' ecstatic explosion of pink and red in front of the house sing psalms of morning praise to the inexpressible Beauty from which they spring. Can it be that this One is not gracious?
Beauty awakens longing as I watch film from a bygone Olympics. A gymnast, little more than a girl, jumps and floats with such exquisite grace — and joy — that the eye cannot remain dry.
Such beauty is sacramental, a tear in the fabric of time through which Eternity rushes in. The heart leaps at its vision, fanning a yearning that hints at another world where all things are charged with the grace of the One who is Beauty itself.
But today the beauty of lives fully given to what God's love awakens in them captures me more than the gymnast's grace or the flowers' joyous song.
On July 10, Patrick Ryan Adle, a 21-year-old Marine lance corporal, rested before the altar of Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, Bel Air, Md. He was killed in action after volunteering for a second tour of duty in Iraq — so a married soldier with a wife and child did not have to return there (see page 35).
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