In this picture (from the last post), what caught your eye? Was it …

(a) the telephone pole?

(b) the varied textures and colors of rocks, grass, and fall-colored leaves?

(c) the gray cloud cover falling short of a brilliant blue sky?

(d) the bare tree annoyingly right in the middle of the foreground?

When I look out that window, what I usually notice, this time of year, is the changing color patterns. Since my husband laid that rock ground cover, I also notice its nice textural contrast with the grass and trees. But mentally framing up a photo through the window, I got riveted on that stupid telephone pole! And then, once I took the picture, that annoying bare treelet in the foreground. Either of those, I thought, is what people will see first and foremost when they look at any post in which I place this.

I thought of moving elsewhere for my photo shoot. Then I changed my mind. What a good reminder of how easily we can allow life’s distracting eyesores to steal our enjoyment of life’s beauties!

I know it’s hard to look at a photo and not see the eyesores and distractions. Ordinarily no one should ever post a pic like that and expect people to think, “Oh, how pretty!” I am, after all, framing the blemishes!

But when I look out at the world (yes, admittedly a broken, diseased, and badly blemished place), where do I set my focus? On the diseases, fractures, and annoying distractions–or on the beauties and blessings?

Yes, we must give attention to the uglies we can have some part in fixing or relieving. Pretending they don’t exist is… well, lying. But we should never allow that attention to rob us of our view of the blessings–wherein, after all, lie the elements of healing and fixing, restoring and renewing.

Look at the photo again, and, if you didn’t before, notice the pretty red and gold of the foliage, the varied texture of rock and grass and sky, the wonder of baby trees become adolescents, despite a year of drought. And may you and I purposefully look at life’s photo frames the same way, making sure not to miss the beauties even in the less-than-spectacular scenes.