Seek the blessor and not the blessing: On beauty and art, blessings, and my favorite sin

On beauty and art.

“Kuhanan mo yan ng picture, Michi. Ang ganda o! [Take a picture of this, Michi. So beautiful!]”

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So I begrudgingly took a photo of this boring scenery. I mean, yes it is beautiful with all the bougainvillea “flowers” fallen to the ground, like it is autumn. Come to think of it, I phrased that rather, beautifully. You may be thinking what a killjoy/weirdo I am to think of this scene, boring.

If I were to take this photo, I will not capture the whole thing, I will focus on the colorful and vibrant, metamorphosed leaves of the bougainvillea (Erratum: This is not bougainvillea at all, sorry! But it is the thought that counts.). I think it’s beautiful how the leaves are the main event in this plant species and not the tiny flowers.

If I were to take this photo, I will capture what is real. And the “flowers” here are lies. By capturing the photo as it is, people will think, “Oh, what a pretty scene.” but they won’t know its mysteries, they won’t know that the colorful “flowers” that lie on the ground are actually leaves. The whole, supposedly beautiful scene will then be devalued, will be simplified into an ordinary, pretty scene. Boring.

People ask me questions why do I pay attention to say, abandoned nurseries, they say I should take a photo of a flower instead. Why? because in that abandoned nursery, there is life inside. No one will know it unless I go and capture those beautifully lined seedlings inside plastic pots.

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Why pay attention to already pretty things? Why not focus on the “ugly”? I find it extremely attractive and beautiful and amazing (hehehe) when a person “notices”. When a person notices the beauty beyond and despite the flaws, and somehow to this person, the flaws magnify the beauty.

On blessings. Let’s discuss my “favorite” sin.

“Seek the blessOR and not the blessing.”

Last Sunday was a reminder for me to always have a grateful heart. Because when you become so full of praise and thanksgiving and gratefulness, you develop a heart of humility.

Let’s talk about my favorite sin. It’s not so much that I like doing this sin in fact, I hate myself for this sin. I am proud. I am too boastful. Mayabang. Kinakahiya ko ‘yon. Sometimes, I even am proud of myself for being humble (if that makes sense). Sometimes I boast that I am a Christian so HA! I am better than you, you, and you because yall don’t know nothing. It takes a lot of courage to own up to this sin. As I have earlier said, I delude myself into thinking that I am not proud, that I only boast in my God. But I was wrong, wrong, wrong.

This is why the proverb, Humility Before Honor is so close to my heart. I was unconsciously battling this favorite sin of mine as I consciously rated myself if I was humble. It does not help that God blessed me with all these talents (ayan ang yabang ko na naman!) and every time I read the bible, I am always reading “You are special, you are my daughter” — Sino ba namang hindi lalaki ang ulo kapag sinabihan ka non ni Lord?! My fault? I am handling this sin by my own. I thought I could heal myself. I thought I was being mature. Pero ang pinapairal ko lang pala ay ang kayabangan ko. I was only feeding my sin. I should have surrendered this sin to God because I cannot heal myself, only He can.

By seeking the blessor, by praising Him first, this is a way to develop a humble heart. A heart that seeks humility before honor.  A heart that does not lean to its own understanding, a heart that follows the convictions of the Holy Spirit. That is the heart that I want.

So Lord, develop in me this principle: Humility Before Honor.

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Seek the blessor and not the blessing: On beauty and art, blessings, and my favorite sin