Do you Care about Beauty at Work?
Do you care about beauty at all? If you are like me, a man who is concerned only with the "practical aspects" of life, you would not really care how beautiful the cup is. The cup's purpose is to help me drink the water: "No more. No less. That's it." So, why should we care about beauty at work?
I never really understood when my wife said, "Everything should be beautiful. The cup should be beautiful. The plates should be beautiful. The folded laundry should be beautiful. Everything should be beautiful." I never really understood her until I read Genesis 2:9. It reads:
And out of the garden the LORD God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food.
Here, when God makes the tree, he is not just concerned with the "practical" aspect of the tree, that is to provide foods. But, God also makes the tree beautiful in a way that is pleasant to the eyes, to the viewers of the tree. Moreover, God does not make a "junk" or "all right" foods. He makes the "good" food that comes out of a beautiful tree. In other words, in the creation account, we see God is creating the world beautifully and excellently.
When I read this verse, I instantly understood why my wife cares about beauty of the world. When she is pleased with looking at beautiful objects, she is reflecting God, her creator, who cares about the beauty of the world. So, how can we work beautifully in our-work places?
My wife, Esther, works in a retail store. Once in a while, whenever the company comes with the new products, she has to display and mechanize the products on the floor. Whenever she does this task and shows me the pictures of her work, I am really mesmerized. I always ask her, "How did you do this?" She organizes and displays the products in a way that is very intriguing, engaging, and pleasing to everyone who enters the store.
But, what if we do not work in a fashion related industry, how can we work beautifully? Martin Luther King Jr. once said:
If it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures, like Shakespeare wrote poetry, like Beethoven composed music; sweep streets so well that all the host of Heaven and earth will have to pause and say, “Here lived a great street sweeper, who swept his job well.
The point is it really does not matter what our vocation is. When we engage our vocations with our best effort and with our finest attention to details for God and for our neighbours, we can indeed make our work beautiful to the people and even to God's sight. I remember when I was working as a building manager, I had to clean a lot of dirty never-washed toilets. But, I really believed this dirty work mattered to the Lord, so I tried to clean the toilets to my best abilities. And, I hope that the toilets that I washed were pleasing to the new tenants and to Lord.
Our God cares about beauty and works beautifully in this world. Therefore, we should work beautifully as well. When we give our best for the Lord, our work will be pleasing to the eyes of the Lord and also to the eyes of our neighbours. Is your work beautiful?