I have been working on this post in my heart for probably two years or so? But I feel like I finally have the words and the boldness to put it out there.
I'm going to show you a photo.
What do you see?
Most people I've shown this to say "garbage."
I took this photo because I saw beauty. I saw the lovely sunrise, the haze to the sky, the rooftops and yes, even the garbage but I thought the juxtaposition made a statement that was stunning.
I didn't ignore the garbage. Heck, I was standing right next to it, I could smell it. I was far more aware in many ways of the garbage than anyone just viewing a digital image I snapped on my smartphone could be...
But it wasn't the garbage that held my focus, it wasn't the garbage that inspired me to capture the image. It was the beauty. It was the beauty that literally stopped me in my tracks as I was out for a walk.
Most people just see the garbage. Which is why I didn't share this photo far and wide. I did send it to a few people close to me, who all pointed out the garbage, and I let it fade.
Most people would think you need to clean up the garbage so it doesn't distract from the beauty. Which there's nothing wrong if you want to get together a team and go and clean it up, that'd be awesome, but a) who has time to clean up all the garbage and b) it misses the point that the beauty and the mess coexist now.
Or maybe most people would just want to crop it so that the garbage isn't showing. And sometimes I'm that person. But it makes the photo feel cheap. Like a lie. Only the lie isn't the beauty, the lie is that the beauty can't co-exist with the garbage. The lie is that there isn't something lovely about the juxtaposition. The lie would be, for me, that you need to have a narrow gaze to be in awe of beauty.
But you don't, or at least I don't.
God's given me a gift to see the beauty. But because when I try to show others they don't see it, I've stopped showing it. They get so distracted by the mess they can't see the real loveliness that is present and real. It's not beauty that will show up someday after the house is clean and pinterest perfect. It's not beauty that only comes after months of sacrifice for a bikini body. It's not beauty that is marred by the dirtiness of life, it's beauty that exists. It coexists. It is. It is present. It is real. It is always.
And I think I gave up... well all but gave up, coming on here occassionally adn plugging away but only publishing probably one in five posts I start... I nearly gave up blogging because I was so tired of the garbage eyed people.
Which is not very nice of me, I know.
But it's tiring to say "see the beauty!" and expecting people to share your joy and hearing people go "ugh, the garbage."
And then you start cropping and you show it and people are non-responsive. Because you cropped out the context. Zooming in makes it seem pixelated and cheap. They aren't getting the big picture, and the beauty is enhanced by the big picture, it's not cheapened.
I hope you understand the metaphor.
God's given me a gift to see beauty when others are so caught up by the mess as to have their vision obscured. And my response has been to therefore close my eyes, to stop sharing my viewpoint. I lost my blogging voice in my insecurity.
That's not right.
I see more than they see. Why would I narrow my vision to see less?
I'm going to try to come back and blog and show you more again. To show you the loveliness. And those of you with eyes to see will see it. And those you of you without it, maybe you can learn to stretch your vision. Let's see.
In the meantime here's something I hope you all will see the beauty in. I have had a son.