“Painting is a blind man’s profession. He paints not what he sees, but what he feels, what he tells himself about what he has seen” ~ Pablo Picasso
I’m that way about my photography, my writing and how I “read” my day. I am not satisfied with a photo until what I have shot captures how I saw it. How I saw it is not a scientific thing. It involves senses, memory, a soul connection – and I strive to share not just what I saw but what I soul saw.
In graduate school, a fellow student contemptuously said I looked at life through rose-colored glasses. I’m sure my pink shades helped him come to that conclusion. I didn’t think then – and I don’t think now that I look at life through a temporary filter, like rose-colored shades. I think I look at life through not just a God-lense, but a God-reality.
I think of people like Corrie Ten Boom, who lived under horrible persecution in a concentration camp, who watched her sister slowly die – and I think to myself that if she can find grace, forgiveness, love, strength, courage, hope, faith – and grab hold of the little joys in seemingly insignificant things – then I can, too. I would argue that Ten Boom looked at life through a God-lense.
Sometimes, it’s all about chosing what about my day is going to define me. I bet between you and me, we could come up with a huge list of irritants, things gone wrong, unfairness, chaos, challenges we didn’t ask for. The loudness of all that negativity can drown out grace, if we don’t look for it, find it, focus on it.
Sometimes I define one hour by 5 minutes. Once, in that 5 minutes, during a raucus storm, I took time out of the chaos to watch a summer storm, the rivulets like miniature rivers broke summer parched soil, loosening it, and it became a Holy Spirit ran when I invited God into it, thanking him for it. Another time, a winking sparkle of sunshine on a glass pane was a God message, reminding me He is there – and I thanked him for the lovely gift. Even the simplicity of a single sip of a cup of steaming blood orange tea in a chaotic morning has become a heart-warming moment – a sip-long restoration that becomes blessing when I share it with the Father. I define single hours with moments like that.
Out of 24 hours, maybe that sip-long moment is the only moment worth keeping – and a moment worth defining my day. I refuse to define myself by want, by injustice, by chaos, by the challenge. Yet, maybe, the chaos, the challenge is the honey to that cup of tea. It wouldn’t have been as sweet if there hadn’t been the challenge – or God in it.
It is a choice to live as God’s child. It’s a choice to see life through a God-lense. It is my choice – how I “see” my story, how I tell my story. I choose to define myself by moments of grace, hope, and blessing.
How will you choose to see today? A mystery? A heroic adventure? A hopeless tale? A romance? A story of oppression or overcoming? Will you create something redeeming and inspiring?