When Jim and I planned to move to West Virginia, we looked online at houses to rent. We found a cute bungalow that seemed perfect for us, as we looked at the pictures of quaint rooms and a nice yard. The next time we visited the area, we drove by “our” house. The house may have been cute, but it was nestled between two dilapidated buildings with construction all around. The pictures didn’t show us the whole story!
Good photographers know how to adjust their camera lenses according to the “story” they hope to convey. With their artistry, they are able to offer us an image of perfect beauty, tell a realistic story of life, capture an exquisite moment, or offer a close-up view and perspective on ordinary subjects.
I’m thinking that our faith helps us to adjust our lenses in order to capture the best parts of our everyday lives. God guides our aperture so that we can let in more light, focus on the beauty, or see a truer, clearer vision of our moments.
When we become overwhelmed, discouraged or downhearted by the picture of our life before us, we can use our faith-lens to ‘zoom in’ on unexpected treasures while cropping the dismal or daunting background. Find the lesson learned in a difficult time. Look to the caring friend who comforts us in our sorrow. Revisit a treasured memory amid a mundane routine. Enjoy a good laugh at our mistakes. Notice a revelation of God’s love at an unexpected moment. Our lens can help us more clearly see the individual blessings tucked within the larger picture.
Or we can use our lens to ‘zoom out’ our focus to encompass a more complete and realistic story when we need to be mindful. Learn the compelling background that helps us understand a person’s behavior. Envision the infinite glorious eternal life when enduring a day of grief or pain. Take in a wider vision that includes others when we are too focused on ourselves. Review the past moments of God’s love in our lives when we are fearful about today. Our lens can help us back away from the narrow vision of our troubles or ourselves to see our potential in God’s greater picture.
God has the eye of an artist. God adjusts our lenses to draw our focus on the light amid the darkness, the lovely amid the ordinary, and the truth amid the pretense. God helps us to notice and record what God would want us to observe and to share, as we keep snapshots of moments in our memory. With God helping us to focus where we should, we can find the hope, the joy, and the proper perspective for each day of our lives.