Sometimes, beauty gets buried under decay. I started thinking about this when we visited Oradea, Romania, this summer. The city is filled with beautiful old buildings. We ooohed and aaahed as we drove around the downtown area. The architecture is breathtaking. 

Beautiful Buildings, downtown Oradea, Romania

Beautiful Buildings, downtown Oradea, Romania

But when we got out of the car and stated walking, the picture-postcard sheen disappeared. The cracks and broken windows and other signs of neglect stood out in bold relief.

The thing that struck me as saddest of all, though, was the mesh. Yes, mesh. Romania is still struggling to recover from the days of communism. They don’t have the necessary money to repair and rescue these beautiful buildings from decay. Their solution? Wrap the tops of the buildings in mesh, so that chunks of plaster and concrete don’t fall down and hit pedestrians in the head. If someone’s apartment window or balcony happens to be in a mesh zone? So sorry; it gets covered up.

Mesh-wrapped buildings

Mesh-wrapped buildings, Oradea Romania

Years later, even the mesh is falling apart, along with the building.

Historical building, Oradea, Romania

Historical building, Oradea, Romania (notice torn mesh on roof)

 But don’t we do the same thing in our lives? Instead of dealing with issues, we wrap them in mesh. That not only makes the problem worse, it hides the beauty underneath. To uncover, recover and restore takes effort. It always requires time, usually money, almost certainly elbow grease. Even substantial risk. But without it, treasures are lost—or never found.

Relationship Mesh – Sometimes, our relationships develop cracks and fissures. An unkind word, a small neglect starts to chip away at the foundation. But instead of fixing what’s wrong, we pretend it’s not there. Or we wrap the relationship in platitudes and surface conversation. But underneath, the crack slowly gets wider.

Project Mesh – You’re writing along on a new story and you realize your hero or heroine has some issues that need dealing with. Do you dig deeper, knowing that means more work? Or do you try to skate along the surface and hope nobody notices?

Or, in a midst of a frustrating craft or household project, do you try to take shortcuts? Skip the prep work? Hide the flaws, instead of trying to fix them?

The harsh reality, of course, is that things fall apart if they’re not taken care of, not repaired, not restored. And who knows what beauty we’ll miss!

So tear down the mesh. Fix what’s broken. You’ll be amazed at the beauty you uncover!

I’d love to hear what discoveries you make…