‘Nearness to God brings likeness to God. The more you see God, the more of God will be seen in you.’ Charles Spurgeon. These are the first words you will read in Ruth Chou Simon’s book Beholding and Becoming. Even before you read the dedication you will read this quote and it will tell you everything you need to know about this book. Chou Simons writes to encourage you in the process of becoming more like Christ day by day, moment by moment.
Before I go any further I must confess that I really love Ruth Chou Simons, as an author, an artist and a woman. (I have four children; all boys. Ruth has six children; all boys – let’s just say I respect that!) I was part of the launch team for this book in 2019 and for six weeks, I tuned in for a live with Ruth every Tuesday evening as she talked us through this book. It was a blessed time for me. Friends, we cannot manufacture ‘becoming’ like Christ; we cannot force it nor can we fake it. Becoming like Christ begins with seeing Christ, who He is, what He has done. We are transformed as we marvel, not by sheer power of the will!
You’ve heard the phrase ‘you are what you eat’. It is as valid for our spiritual health as it is for our physical health. Just like our bodies, our hearts crave ‘fast food’ and when we are led solely by our cravings, we will willingly reach for convenience, immediate (short-term) satisfaction, no matter how unhealthy and destructive we know it to be.
A feast of truth and beauty
In Beholding and Becoming: The Art of Everyday Worship, Ruth Chou Simons has created a book that challenges those cravings by laying before us a feast of truth and beauty! The beautiful artwork that adorns each page invites every reader first to ‘eat’ with their eyes. The art can (and should!) be enjoyed for itself, but it intends to direct our gaze to God’s creation; and if you will follow it you will behold God’s revelation of Himself to us through every great and small thing. The art will also draw you in, inviting you to linger over the text; truths to nourish your soul.
Each of these chapters is written in two parts. The first part presents a particular truth about God and you are invited to behold Him. The second part of each chapter is an application of the truth to our daily lives and how, having beheld Him, we can see our ordinary moments as holy. We learn we can and should worship Him there, in every moment.
As each reader ‘eats’ these truths they will find their hearts and minds nourished by the very Word of God. The reader who will chew on these truths in their mind and digest them in their heart will be satisfied beyond any ‘fast food’ the world can serve us. Beholding and Becoming is a unique invitation to ‘taste and see the Lord is good’! If you allow it, this book will help turn your heart from the spiritual junk food it craves by feeding you a diet of truth and beauty; nurturing a new appetite for the bread of life. Our hearts will be less easily satisfied by our social media feed, the next Netflix series or trashy novel and will yearn for deep, lasting satisfaction found in beholding God and His goodness.
This beholding of God will help your doctrine become healthier, your faith become stronger and your worship become an overflow of praise in every mundane and magical moment of your life.