On the Attempted Destruction of Beauty
I stand today before the eighth wonder of the Western world: Michelangelo’s Pieta at the Basilica of San Pietro in Rome. It is a marvel of the human spirit, how one man could have such vision and talent to bring forth such beauty from rock. Michelangelo used to say that he was only freeing each statue from its prison within the marble. It just had to come out.
As I stand before this magnificent work of art, I am reminded that in 1972 Laszlo Toth took a hammer to this masterpiece and tried to destroy it, knocking off the Virgin’s arm, chipping her eye and nose.
Mr. Toth was intent on destroying beauty.
I wonder, as I look at this breathtaking work, if too many injustices are perpetrated in the name of destroying beauty. Some partners denigrate the other…..just because. Some attack others…..just because. Some deface homes and walls and works of art……just because.
You are a person. Therefore, you are a work of art. You are a person of beauty. Some may wish to deface you—to hurt your heart—just because.
The master artists worked diligently to restore the Virgin’s features according to the artist’s original expectations (using detailed photos to accomplish the task).
You, too, should consider using the artistic tools of forgiveness when others try to hurt you, to deface you, or even to destroy you.
Forgiving those who try to hurt your beauty is even better than the tools used to reconstruct the Pieta. You see, forgiveness as a tool does not just restore you to your previous state. Forgiving others has a way of making you even more beautiful than you were before.