Barcelona is a place of beauty. I like it because it's different from home. I like home too but at home we value efficiency. We build it to get it done, the look of something isn't our top priority. We want to make things that work well. Aesthetics are secondary.
But here they place a high value on beauty. It is enough for something to simply be beautiful. Art is everywhere. The buildings are colorful and different shapes. The streets and sidewalks are adorned with curvy ledges and bricks and marble and metal sculpted pieces. Shaun is convinced the whole city was designed by a skater, because everything is skate-able, and even though he probably isn't correct, I love that he loves it here so much. He probably appreciates the architecture more than most.
Being in Barcelona reminds me how much God cares about beauty. It is a reflection of His heart and invites us into His peace. Beauty points us to His glory and magnificence. It brings quiet comfort and a sweet joy, sometimes subtle, but undoubtedly sure.
I think the beauty of humanity is designed to do the same. Being here has helped me pray better for girls and women everywhere. I'm praying that our beauty would be a gift to those around us. A beauty that invites freedom and peace. Not a striving competitive beauty motivated by pride or insecurity, but a beauty that says, "I am enough. I am created by a beautiful Creator and my very being reflects His glory." I am praying that we would display a kind of beauty that actually encourages the beauty in others, a wonderful and contagious Barcelona-like beauty, that makes even skaters feel closer to heaven.
I'm convinced that with humble grateful hearts we bring glory to our Maker in both creating and celebrating beauty.
That is what Barcelona is teaching me this week.
Here are a few photos from my anniversary date with Shaunny. We would have celebrated our 5 years of marriage on Saturday, because we were actually married May 31st like my grandparents, but I was as sick as can be. It's really okay though because Monday June 2nd turned out to be just as good. Also we intended to sit on the sand for part of our date but we must have somehow stumbled upon what Shaun and I, through hysterical laughter, called "Naked Man Beach"... named after... well... exactly what it sounds like. I have never seen so many old, TOTALLY NAKED men in my life. There were also a few people in swimsuits and one naked old woman, but they were invisible to me. I was distracted by the fact that there were like 10 naked old men dangling their treasures at me. Wow. So naturally we ended up on big cement blocks... far away from Naked Man Beach.
What a warm welcome to this glorious city. Haha... I'm literally laughing as I type this. Ohhhh my.......