A Message from Rev. Suzelle

“Seek not afar for beauty; lo, it glows

in dew-wet grasses all about your feet,

in birds, in sunshine, childish faces sweet,

in stars and mountain summits topped with snows…”

Those words from Hymn #77 in our grey hymnal, “Singing the Living Tradition” come to my mind when I consider our June Soul Matters theme: We Are a People of Beauty. They were written by Minot Judson Savage, a renowned 19th-century Unitarian minister. I also think of Emily Dickinson’s Poem #1654:

“Beauty crowds me till I die

Beauty mercy have on me

But if I expire today

Let it be in sight of thee —”

Beauty really is everywhere if we tune our senses to take it in. Beauty, and the awe and wonder it inspires. Beauty in the natural world, including human beauty — but also beauty in human-made creations. You might find a well-tuned engine beautiful, or experience beauty in the gravitational pull of navigating a sleekly-designed highway interchange. Perhaps your ears are tuned to the beauty in electronic music, or your soul lights up at the beautiful scent of spaghetti sauce cooking on the stove… Seek not afar for beauty, it crowds us, every single moment of every single day.

Even so, it is possible to move past Beauty, to not notice, to ignore its delights. There’s something about our busy, over-communicated lives that draws us into dullness. As we screen out the stimuli of “too much” we mute our capacity for experiencing the wonder that opens our hearts. It’s a fine balance — we can’t give our attention to everything, yet we know that our human health and wholeness asks us to be open to growth, change, inspiration, and hope.

I don’t have the answer to this dilemma — but I do have some advice. Pause where you are right now, and take in something you find beautiful: a deep breath, the view from your window, the texture of your clothing, the voice of a companion… And in an hour, pause, and do it again. Before you retire for the evening, try it again… And again, when you wake, when you sit down to a meal when you brush your teeth or put on your clothes.

And please do come to seek Beauty at UUCW, too. Our last Sunday with our Intern Minister, Kimberlee Tomczak Carlson is June 2, and that’s also Annual Meeting day (after the 10:00 am service there will be a reception, and then the Meeting).

Blessings to you,


The Rev. Suzelle Lynch, Minister