“Beauty is the hard-to-define essence that draws people to the gospel.” (David Taylor)
“No synonym for God is so perfect as Beauty. Whether as seen carving the lines of the mountains with glaciers, or gathering matter into stars, or planning the movements of water, or gardening – still all is Beauty!” (John Muir)
“We do not want merely to see beauty… we want something else which can hardly be put into words- to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it. That is why we have peopled air and earth and water with gods and goddesses, and nymphs and elves.” (C. S. Lewis)
Beauty attracts our curiosity and makes us feel alive, it make us feel good. Beautiful flowers, birds, and trees bring joy and delight. Why is that? If we open our hearts and minds, beauty leads us towards God.
The beauty of God’s creation has spoken to me personally. At a very low point in my life, a season of depression and anxiety, my family visited Yosemite national park in California. I was amazed at the stunning beauty of the place. As I sat on the rim of Yosemite valley my mind filled with the thought, “If God wants us back in Japan, He can make it happen.” I felt anxiety drain out. I had hope again. In that instant the beauty of God’s creation touched me. It spoke of his love, majesty, power and grace. “The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship.” (Psalm 19:1)
The people of Japan have a deep appreciation for beauty and I believe beauty is key to reaching Japanese for Christ. Are you seeking ways to seize the opportunity? In his post Art, Love and Beauty: Introduction Makoto Fujimura asks a pertinent question, “Is your church known to strangers and enemies for art, love and beauty?” If not, what can you do about it?
Please consider using our short (4 minute) documentary Finding Beauty in the Rubble. This film is available to share with your friends via social media; you can download it and show it to a group of people; you can bring a strong visual element into your worship service by integrating it into your Sunday morning message. A fitting passage to use in conjunction with showing the film is, Isaiah 61:1-3.
Finding Beauty in the Rubble on Vimeo
I am pleased to announce that Finding Beauty in the Rubble has been accepted by the Justice Film Festival (in Chicago), Accolade Global Film Competition (online), The Online Film Festival, and New Media Film Festival (in Los Angeles). I (Paul Nethercott) will be at the Justice festival in Chicago on June 7 and June 9 %10 I will be at the New Media film festival in Los Angeles. If you plan to be there, let me know, I’d love to connect.
We have submitted the film to a number of other festivals including the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival (the most prominent documentary film festival in Japan). Please pray that we will have opportunity to screen Finding Beauty at the Yamagata and at many other festivals around the world. I want this film to be seen, to impact lives, to bring a measure of hope and healing to many people around the world.
What are your ideas for sharing the Gospel with Japanese through beauty?
- Art, Love and Beauty: Introduction (Article by Makoto Fujimura)
- A Holy Longing (Christianity Today Article by David Taylor)
- 2 Criminals Film Project Website (The Crew that Made Finding Beauty in the Rubble)
- Finding Beauty in the Rubble: A Tsunami Survivor Tells Her Story (JapanCAN post)