The world is hauntingly broken. This much goes uncontested. There is truly horrific decay presently at work in our world. But within the bitter blackness of human suffering there is still a hopeful luminosity calling us to return to beauty, and follow Jesus, the crucified Savior King. That the world still bursts with unspoiled evidence of the design of Godward delight is too easily overlooked. There is a reason God commands us to manufacture old world emblems upon which to imagine the glory of the new creation. Eden echoes to us when the gorgeous immensity of the old order triggers moments of utter and absolute doxological awe.
All beauty is graciously parabolic, indicating something utterly other than itself. If marriage has taught me anything so far, it is that I instinctively long for the day when all will climax in the perpetuity of blissful union with Christ. The pure gospel preached in the portrait of marriage is simply an advanced embodiment of the goodness to come. The fiery union of pain and promise points gladly beyond itself.