I first learned that the phrase "cellar door" was the most beautiful phrase in all of the English language when I was in high school.
I debated the idea, wondering how one could pick such a simple phrase out of all of our vocabulary and title it "most beautiful". With no regard for semantics, just simply based on how it sounds coming out of one's mouth. This seems so silly to just dub something beautiful without real grounds to do so. Seriously, when you look at the word, it's what my grandparents have in their backyard, with weeds grown over it. The only real use it gets is during tornado season or to hold unnecessary amounts of canned peaches. I wrestled over this concept the entire duration of my junior year. This simple phrase, being named most beautiful.
Beautiful, just because the scholar knows it to be.
Beautiful, just because the author says it to be.
Beautiful, just because the foreigner hears it to be.
This compound noun has unpacked so much revelation to my heart lately:
I spent the other afternoon in a town called Santa Ana. I walked up and down the gang filled streets, witnessing the homeless, the broken, the unsaved, the addicts, and the prostitutes. In a sense, I felt the way Jesus did. So out of place among a crowd of people that were nothing like me. I have nothing to offer this community from a wordly perspective. I cannot speak their language, aside from the occasional "Hola" and "gracias", and have nothing to offer the drug dealers on the corners. I can't rescue the prostitutes on the street corners, and I had nothing but a genuine smile to offer the homeless begging for a place to lay their head.
Walking the streets, there was such a tension in my heart. I wanted a real, deep down, shake me to the core love for the lost. I wanted revelation for how the Father feels for the unsaved and broken of the world.
It was right then that I saw her. The most beautiful being I have ever locked eyes with. Her mother, dressed in barely nothing was on the other side of the porch, speaking loudly to two men in Spanish. From her body language, and the way she was dressed, I assumed the conversation was not appropriate for such a little one. She (the little one) was alone on the opposite end of the porch, humming quietly to herself, and shuffling up and down the outside staircase. No one was paying her attention. Her clothes were two sizes too small and her hair had gone days without being brushed. Not once during her mothers conversation, were eyes glanced her way. Yet, she seemed content, looking down at her feet, watching her every step up and down the stairway.
I was told her house was the biggest crack house on the block. Every few days, police raids and evacuations. Occasional fires and "blowups" in the kitchen. Yet, days after evacuation, they were all back in the house. The curtains were torn, and boards put up where windows had been broken. Trash was scattered on the lawn, and loud music echoed from the living room into the street.
Suddenly, I caught her attention from across the street. She giggled and ran straight up the stairs and into the house. Against the unpainted house, the unpolished lawn, the broken windows and in her own stained clothes, she was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.
Beautiful, because the Author created her to be.
Beautiful, because the foreigner sees her to be.
She is the "cellar door" to my english language. I have no grounds to prove she is beautiful. I have nothing but the sound of her giggle, and the glimmer of hope in her eyes to describe her has pure beauty. And with that, the Lord brought clarity to the phrase, and brought revelation for His eyes for the lost.