Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Spirituality of ‘Style’



The fashion industry majors on style. In fact, the art world in general can be considered as that adorning the mastery of style—yet many people do not understand; they cannot get their heads around ‘weird’ art and aloof garments paraded up and down the catwalk.


“Style is elusive, yet obvious to see. It’s an attitude, a way, an emotion...”


~Kylie Minogue.


The quote above describes style as a sort of magic; a highly desirable and potent quality that sets apart the everyday as the unique; the distinctive as mass-producible. It’s alluring, captivating, and illuminating on thoughts, feelings and senses. It evokes wild sweeping responses. It wakes us out of our slumber and breathes life into us.


So, how can it not be spiritual?


Spiritual persons need to be interested in style—but not the style we see on catwalks or in art galleries. But a worldly person might be endowed-of-wonder to gaze upon one with spiritual style. Christians would call this person ‘full of the Holy Spirit’.


Qualities of Spiritual Style


How might we determine what spiritual style looks like? We need to begin to think in ways that merge two word concepts: holiness with style.


Word concepts that might describe a didactic sort of style include wisdom, grace, elegance, beauty, winsomeness, and humble serendipity. This sort of style includes all those, and more.


If we were to epitomise this style of rooted integrity we would be charismatic, yet dependable; likeable, yet accountable; smooth, yet honest; embracing, yet sufficiently distant; cautiously extroverted, yet passionably introverted—these all depending upon the needs of the season. Ah, sounds like the situational balance of wisdom, doesn’t it?


Nurturing Spiritual Style


The spirituality of style is actually what I think Kylie Minogue describes above. It is a most welcome enigma; an enchanting mystery. Little wonder we fall in love with it when we see it.


These chic qualities—embellished neatly, and essentially, with righteous virtue—are the essence of good spirituality, which—when it’s of God—is based always in truth.


The person who nurtures their spiritual style, encrusted with solitaires of humble intent, is harnessing the power of God in their mortal being; they will be a jewel for God and for others in their midst.


© 2011 S. J. Wickham.


Graphic Credit: New York Times.

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