I was giving a presentation at a client and my background was up on the projector screen. It happened to be a picture that I had taken at Holy Hill recently at Christmas. Someone in the room said, “wow, that’s beautiful”, “where is that?”. I explained that it was Holy Hill, that we were there for Christmas, and proceeded to share some aspects about how thankful I was to have that experience. What happened was that a person saw something beautiful and it drew them in and it was subdued enough that they wanted to ask questions about it.
In a work setting you can’t always come out and say, “I’m a Catholic, can I introduce you to Jesus”, but you can introduce people to beauty. When you introduce people to beauty it naturally drives people toward a conversation that will break down barriers. The reason is because everyone can recognize something beautiful, because it is written on our hearts. You don’t need to be told something is beautiful, you just see it.
For example, you might ask someone “what kind of music do you like?” Isn’t it interesting that you never ask them “do you like music?” Why, because everyone likes music. It’s a common denominator. Typically, people can also recognize “beautiful music”, because it ignites something in our soul that connects us to God.
The value of beauty in a work setting is that you can have a conversation that is all about God, without saying His name. You can convey truth to someone who has no spoken religious interest, because you are connecting them to something they can recognize themselves. It leads to them asking you about topics of faith and its integral part of life, rather than you having to force it upon them.
The world, especially in a working setting, has a flavor for decomposing the blessings of God into “economic compartments” and thinking of them as “challenges”. In beauty you help people subtly to change their perception of the world and attract them to God. It can help them change their perception of their kids (blessings vs. expenses / annoying), spouse (gift vs. nag), parents (joyful responsibility vs. burden), creation (ecology vs. resource).
So… for a simple opportunity, change your background on your laptop and your phone to something beautiful that will lead people to God. Shape your conversations to convey the beauty of what God has given you. Watch the change come over your working relationships.