Friday, October 18, 2013

Beauty Unseen

"seeing it is wonderful"
Judges 13:18

This summer, a friend of mine went to England.  When she got home, she shared the photos she had taken, which was especially fun for me, because I was fortunate enough to have visited Great Britain twenty years ago.  She went to some of the same places (in London and York) and it was fun for me to relive my visit a little. 

But she also took this beautiful picture:

Isn't that lovely?  But more than that, it's unexpected.  I would have taken a picture of the lake in the background, or the greenery surrounding it, or the variety of grasses in the foreground.  If I had included the fence in the shot, it would have been the "good" part, not the broken part.  But I love that this is how she framed the shot.  I love what she saw, that I would have ignored.

My Awesome Girl takes photos like that.  She's an artist (like her father.  And frankly, like her brother.)  And one of the things she excels at is photography.  She takes pictures of things that don't seem like art until I see the photo.   So over the past couple of years, as she has experimented and grown in the craft, I have developed an appreciation for what else is in the photo, when I look at photos...

A friend of mine took this while on a missions trip in Honduras.  If it were me, I would have taken a picture of the kitty, but I would have zoomed in, and only seen the cat through the lens.   What I see in her photo is the home, and the bench.  I see a family, though they aren't in the picture, with a simple life, and a contented cat. 

The same friend took this photo.  I think if I were standing in that place I would have seen two dusty roads going in two different directions.  But as a picture, it evokes wonder, and possibilities.  And it makes me want to re-read Robert Frost's The Road Not Taken.

My daughter took this last year.  I have no idea who these people are.  And you know what I was doing while she was taking this?  I was sitting next to her, watching a baseball game.  She was watching life.   A sweet shot, isn't it?

This was taken in 2010, when we attended the Winter Olympics in Vancouver.  This was the area downtown where the Olympic torch was.  A great place to people-watch.  But she, I saw afterwards, was not just people-watching...

This is her.  I know; she's taller than you expected, right?  How often do you even notice your shadow, much less appreciate it?  This is art.

And she took this one outside the La Brea Tar Pits a few years ago.  I saw this patch of bamboo, but all I saw was, well, bamboo.  Now I see green and yellow and brown and texture and varying degrees of verticality.  Oh, and some bright green new growth over there on the left.  So much more interesting than I realized!

The lesson for me in all this was about trying to see what I don't see.  But it also reminded me of how much more there is to know in a given situation than I'm aware of.  There's foreground and background and what's off to the left or right.  And there's what's gonna happen, and what has happened already.  All this, God knows. 

I see from these pictures, that what I don't see, is beautiful.  God must find so much joy in every aspect of our lives, and every corner of this world He created.  I think we just need to relax and enjoy what we can see, while we trust Him for what we can't.

~ "God made the world and everything in it;
He is Lord of heaven and earth" ~
Acts 17:24

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