How do you see your world? How do you see mine? These past few days, I have been thinking about how we view our lives…through the lens.
The words and pictures you see here are focused through a lens. The photos are literally taken through a lens, carefully framed and arranged and sometimes even edited to convey a mood, an emotion, a freeze-framed moment of time to last through the years. The words are carefully chosen, selected, written and re-written to condense my cluttered thoughts into cohesive sentences, paragraphs, phrases. Verbs and nouns and parts of speech line up, re-arrange, bump and fumble and finally align themselves into a form that I can feel comfortable with when I click “publish”.
What you see here is a part of a whole, the choice fruit, the chosen few moments and thoughts of our days that I cherish and wish to present to whoever may pass this way. They are truth, but they are a small portion of the whole truth. They are the photo, frozen in the lens that I have chosen to share with you. It is an honest lens, but it is still a chosen one.
What doesn’t make it into the lens? Life is messy, sometimes difficult, noisy, cluttered. The tight close-up of my daughter shows the warm morning light bathing her child-smooth skin in a peaceful glow, bouncing catch light off long-lashed eyes. The tight frame eliminates the frazzled halo of bed-head hair, not yet brushed.
The chosen lens frames the breathtaking beauty of God’s handiwork, a brilliant yellow flower seems to glow in morning’s first light. The weeds below don’t show, waiting to be pulled before they choke out budding flowers.
Through one lens: Ripening fruit awaits the picking of small hands, red-orange-yellow against a brilliant blue sky. Through another: Rotting fruit drops endlessly down, a rain of sticky paste falls to the driveway to be picked up once, again, again.
How do you see your life?
I am realizing that all too often, I see my life through the wrong lens. My eye wanders too wide, fails to take in the tiny wonders of God’s creation…the dust motes dancing like fairy dust in sun-struck air. I see instead a table that needs dusting, work that needs doing, time that is already spent. Or my lens is too small…I see only my small corner of the world, my personal wants and worries and concerns, and I fail to pull back and look at the vast and glorious creation that our God has put before us.
Pull back: Green vine in the sun searches with twining tendrils for the cracks in wood siding, sliding through rain gutters and prying metal from wood, overgrown in all directions. Work, work, work to be done.
Pull back again: Home of ours, garden, trees. Places to play, grow, pray, live. Blessings surround us.
Pull back once more: Tiny dots of orange in a frame that is becoming too large to take in…vast blue sky, great gulps of atmosphere expanding outward to a universe too big to imagine. God, bigger still, holding it all in His hands.
Through what lens will we see the world through today? We hold many in our hands to choose from. Telephoto, Wide angle, Zoom, Soft focus. I am learning to look at life through a lens of thankfulness, to see each small frame as a blessing to cherish. It is all there, the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly. If we focus on the ugly, the good will still be there…shining through with dappled and holy light, waiting to be noticed. The difference will be in our hearts and minds…focused on the ugly and painful aspects of life, our hearts drag down and feel weighted, lonely, overworked and overwrought. Through the lens of beauty and blessing, we see the splendor even in the mundane, the rainbow waiting to break through the rain, the small glimpses of breathtaking wonder, achingly beautiful, previews of what awaits us in heaven.
1 Corinthians 13:12 speaks of the lens: “Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”
We see life, even at our best, through the lens of this World. One day, in heaven…we’ll be able to see it through God’s lens! All the beauty, all the pain, all the splendor, all the suffering, all of creation and life: Woven into one, glorious piece! All of it unveiled, our hearts finally able to take it all in. Amen!