Archives for posts with tag: perspective
I love the zoom lens on my camera. The lens will go from a close up of one thing to a close up of another thing in the push of a button and then back again in a heartbeat. The camera is still pointed at the exact same place, but the whole perspective changes. (Nothing else changes, only the perspective…)
So this morning as I held up my camera, my view which started out as this…a tree just beginning to bud…
….turned to this…blooms…full pink blossoms…in the push of a button. Voila!
Am thinking two things.
First, what we zoom into is what we see. There are a myriad of lenses to look through. Where we fix our gaze is what we see. Faith helps us fix our eyes on the unseen…to trust in God, and that filter can become a lens that helps us see the beauty beyond the bare. I don’t know about you, but there’s a lot of “bare” to see in my world. Zooming in helps me see the beauty…and the presence of God in the midst of it all.
Second…that our human eyes (and hearts) can only see so much, even with zoom lenses…. And that what we may see as bare branches and a teeny tiny bit of growth, God may look beyond to see as the beautiful thing that is yet to be. He knows what is to come and He loves us right in the middle of it all. That’s a beautiful thing that I’m zooming in on today.
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
2 Corinthians 4: 16-18
A few years ago, I started taking a different way to work. Even though it’s not the quickest way for me after dropping off my son at the high school, I still take it every morning . I start out on winding roads and see glimpses of the sun through the trees. And then I come wide open spaces and see the sun rising over a hill to the right.As I go around the bend, I see a field of cows with mountains in the background. And when I come home? If I time it right, I see the sun peeping through the trees ahead of me, and then settling into a vast field to my left as I enter my road, the last little stretch before I reach home.
This afternoon, the sun was so bright it was hard to see. But what I did see was beautiful. Grays, blues, greens all joined by a warm glow that drenched it all. Short cuts may be good for somethings, but for me? When I can, I’m taking the long and winding road. It’s the one that helps me keep perspective. It’s the one that helps me realize it’s not all about the quickest and fastest. It reminds me to breathe. To appreciate. To take the moment in. To not rush home to rush to the next thing, but to just kind of be in the minute I’m in. It probably only takes one or two minutes more than the other way, but the visual pay out way more than makes up for a few minutes lost, because there’s a whole lot that can’t be measured that’s gained.
Just a few thoughts on my way home.
“Cease striving and know that I am God…”
Although the subject for the photo challenge is “landscape”, I know that the real subject of the photo is on the right. So, although the beautiful riverside path is front and center, it gives way to my son and his love of photography. This photo is my view of his view of the landscape. Same place, different view, different lens. Kind of like life. We might be in the same place, but our views, our focus, our lens…they provide a whole different screen shot of the same place and time. Love that.
I’m taking it all in. The sand in my toes, the sun on my face, the wind in my hair, and, most of all….the fun that my kids are having just doing their thing on the beach. It’s Christmas day, and the gifts have been opened, and there’s still lots of time until the evening meal, so we took a little venture to the beach. I took off my boots, and sat in the sand and watched the fun unfold. The older I get, the more I just love to watch and see and be thankful for the little moments in a day.
I remember years and years ago, how my grandfather, “Papa Les”, would sit back and just watch during family celebrations. He’d sit on the couch and smile, and shake his head, and just observe, not in a detached way, but in a very engaged way. He was a wise man with a twinkle in his eye who would entertain and laugh in a heartbeat, but who often just enjoyed taking it all in by watching. And more and more, I get that.
Center stage for me shifted a long time ago. And maybe that’s a big part of growing up. Being a wife and mom has taught me so very much about having someone else in Center Stage. But more than seeing the needs of those around me, or the having the desire to be involved in it all, is the awareness that Center Stage doesn’t truly belong to any of us. For me, there’s that Unseen Presence who is so at the Center of it all. And knowing that God is so very present and working in the lives of those around me, in my life? That’s the focal point that changes EVERYthing I see. It changes the whole perspective and sets an ordinary stage for potential of so much happening that I cannot see. It gives me hope. It adds a whole new dimension to what is seen.
Feeling the tiny grains of sand under my feet as I stare at the vastness of the ocean is a reminder that I’m just one in a million, trillion, bazillion… We are but a small part of the vastness of God’s creation, and the moments we live are but a drop in the ocean of eternal time. But these moments matter. There’s a verse in 2 Corinthians that puts so much in perspective. It says, “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” As I stood on the beach and watched my kids, it felt like I was seeing the temporary and eternal all wrapped up in one. I see with my eyes their uniqueness and fun and enjoyment of the moment. I see with my heart that they are gifts in my life and that God is doing a work in their lives to draw them nearer…whether through joys or struggles. God is the Unseen Presence in Center Stage. Because of that eternal Truth, I can Hope, and enjoy sitting back and watching as things unfold.
And to those who read this post? I guess I share this because I want us to have Hope. My family has had a tough year that will bleed on into the year to come. And I could lose hope in an instant if I let go of certain truths. Hope is unseen, and so is the One who gives it. He is the Unseen Hand who guides us if we would ask Him. When we’re at Center Stage, life can be pretty crazy. But when He is the backdrop of all that we see? There’s hope. There’s clarity. There’s joy. There’s perspective that looks beyond the moment and see not the tiny grains of sand, but the big picture. No matter what the scene of the play. And we can take it all in knowing that God is in control, and we all know the end of the story. May we all passionately play the roles that we have to play in a world that so needs hope. May we take the time to sit back and take it all in as we see the wonder of how God moves and uses things to draw others to Him. He has a way of showing up in unexpected ways when we have the eyes to see it and the heart to hope for it. And I can’t wait to watch and see what He does…
With Hope ~
“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”
P.S. Oh, and a little post script. My daughter is usually at “center stage” in photos…and will be the first to tell you we have a million and one photos of her. But, guess who took this photo of me and some of her brothers? She did. Guess we’re all learning to not be Center stage!
I loved walking on the pier today…it’s awesome to be able to see the wide expanse of the ocean, to feel the wind, the ocean mist, and the warmth of the sun on this chilly day in November. But what I loved even more was going underneath and seeing this view of what was holding the pier up in the first place.
The under girding of the pier took planning, strength, determination, and will in order to provide a strong foundation for the thousands of people who would walk the pier day after day. But do we think about that? Are we even aware of who has gone before us and what has been achieved? So often, we’re so not. We take things for granted until something stops us in our tracks and our eyes are opened and we actually realize and recognize what has been there all along.
When we walked ‘underneath’ the pier and saw this view, it was such a visual of the humility and constant presence of Christ. Present, but not always seen. Under girding, but not often recognized. Beautiful, but not always appreciated. What under girds us often goes unseen…but is so very present and necessary in the very things that we take for granted, so very necessary to our own existence even.
All through scripture, we read that God is for us. God has a plan. God is with us. The Heavens speak of the glories of God,…but the loud declarations of a world that screams of it’s own accomplishments and abilities can drown out the still, small voice of the One who says, “Come unto me.” Humility that is often seen as mere weakness in the world, was lived out in the birth, life, and death of Christ. The cross of Christ and the work done there is the very foundation of Christianity. God could shout and demand, but he knocks and waits for us to choose Him. He knocks and waits for the door to be opened. He creates, moves, lives and ordains, all the while not being recognized by the great majority of His own creation.
The cross of Christ is a picture of humility that is incredibly powerful and strong. Kind of like that cross under the pier that people may not even know is there…it’s so there, with all of it’s benefits and beauty whether, we see it or not. Praying for eyes to see…and ears to hear..
In looking back over some of my favorite “angular” shots, I realized that some of my favorite photos in this category were taken during hospital stays. There are lots of clean fine lines, straight edges, squares and rectangles and neatly designed orderly boxes. Maybe the order and fine lines of the surroundings grant a little comfort for those who find themselves at crisis points in their lives when things are anything but orderly and planned out. I know there are some positive hospital stays,…like having a baby, or going through a planned surgery for one’s health and betterment. But, often times, these straight, tall, well-planned hospitals are full of people whose lives have been turned upside down by an incident, a tragedy, an illness that blindsided them and makes their lives feel anything but ordered.
Here are a few of my favorite shots for the weekly photo challenge of angles…
The Clock on the Wall
slowly tick, tick, ticks as the shadows gradually inch across the wall.
ticks of the clock, shadows and light…..quietly remind that things are always changing
even when it feels like it stands still within the hospital walls.
Sights and Sounds
If there were audio to this photo, you’d hear the loud rhythmic sounds of
the propellers of a helicopter rushing in for a landing on the roof…
the same roof where my son had landed a few days prior to this photo being taken.
Morning…or is it?
Days and nights get a little confused sometimes
But one thing is certain.
A warm soft blanket, some sunshine, and a little rest
sure are good medicine for those who are doing their best to care
for their loved ones in the hospital bed.
…the sun rises still.
After a long restless night of beeping machines, nurses rushing in, endless pleading prayers,
this sight felt like rays of Hope streaming into the room that morning.
I know the photo challenge is “angular”, so I’m stretching it a bit….
but these next photos are taken from “angles”, or points of view.
this was the mom’s eye view
after all of the wires and pumps and IVs and gadgets were slowly taken away
there was just a 13 year old boy
resting, rejuvenating, recuperating.
and here’s that 13 year old boy
and a view of his view
up on the roof of the hospital
branching out of the four walls of his room.
I’m thankful we’ve had very few hospital stays and visits. I’m also strangely thankful for the time spent there. Sure makes me appreciate the days outside of the walls of the hospital, and all that those who are within the walls go through on a daily, monthly, etc. basis.