Today is release day for Gaze Upon the Beauty. Listen on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Pandora, all music platforms, or click below. As you listen, scroll down and read the story behind this stilling melody offering peace and beauty.
This piece is expressing the simple (but not easy) idea to practice stillness before God, to gaze upon His beauty, and to listen for His voice. It brings to mind the Scripture passage “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10), and the Bible story of Mary and Martha, when Jesus said Mary did a “beautiful thing” listening intently at His feet, while Martha was busy about many things (Luke 10:38-42).
After years of “striving to achieve” (how I describe my approach to life and career goals in my 20s), God began helping me pursue His idea of “abiding to receive.” His definition of success is different from the ways of the world. He invites me to meditate on His Word, practice what it says, listen for His voice, and seek to obey what He would have me to do. Then, God says, “you will be prosperous and successful” (Joshua 1:8). His ways and His thoughts are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:8-9).
These are some of the threads woven into Gaze Upon the Beauty. The inspiration and the music invite me to be more still and less hurried, to have more calm and less busyness, and to know more peace in the midst of life’s storms. This is why the piano has such a simple repeating melody, and why the tempo is very slow. The cello notes begin “singing” the words “Gaze upon the beauty” very slowly over the piano. Then the piano and French horn take us into a long gaze, meditating on God’s beauty, and reminding us of His beauty we see in people and creation around us. Finally the horn sings the “Gaze upon the beauty” melody a few more times while the cello harmonizes. The piano climbs higher and higher to a simple, uplifting ending. The swelling orchestral strings underneath add to the profound treasure available to us in these simple truths.
What does “Gaze Upon the Beauty” mean to you?
“One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire (meditate) in his temple.” Psalm 27:4 (ESV)