Perfectly fallen leaf in the sidewalk… I found it that way, honestly!
A good friend of mine tagged me on a Facebook post for a photo-a-day challenge, with a different theme or concept to capture and share each day. The post was by Operation TheraPic, an organization that promotes photography as therapy for veterans who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other negative effects of their military service.
Photography is certainly therapeutic for me, and I’m all for supporting our armed forces, so enthusiastically I accepted the challenge. After all, I already notice things that most other folks walk right past, naturally living life every moment as a scavenger hunt for blessings of all kinds, in both abstract and visual realms. The beauty of God’s creation especially draws my attention, but I also enjoy contrasting the natural with man-made structures and items. Overall, to me the world is a wonderland of colors, shapes and patterns, every perfectly or uniquely placed bug, flower, leaf, shadow or reflection is like a little love note from the Lord.
Here is a poem I wrote while reveling in nature, and how it points to heaven, our true home:
All manner of shapes
combine in harmony
Heralding with flicker of leaves
and sun-dappled symphony
The splendor of what’s to come
once our souls dispense of earth,
Holy communion with the Creator
and consummation of our rebirth.
All manner of sounds
– Nature whispers God’s love
Rustling leaves like ocean waves
point to the Father above.
Gentle avian choruses
bursting into exuberant throngs
foreshadow the glorious melodies
of worshipful heavenly songs.
All manner of evidence
of God’s providence and grace,
given freely, with ample to share
when we pause and seek His face.
It feels good to discover and document life’s beautiful details in pictures, but lately I’ve collected more images than I have composed my thoughts in words. As often happens when out shopping, while looking for one thing to grab, there are dozens of other things that catch my attention. I’ve already taken more pictures than usual this month!
Details are a blessing, but I also can get caught up in amazement while totally missing the bigger scene. It’s like a colorful connect-the-dots but I don’t see the whole page. Instead I notice a few tiny circles in groups like polka dots, while others are tie-dyed or form interesting patterns. I get lost in child-like wonder. On the flip side, when I am anxious, I often miss what is most important while fretting over the minutia of life. In either case I must step back, review the situation from the beginning and connect those dots in order to see the bigger picture. I’m getting better at being objective.
Dogged by details?
They say the devil’s in the details – life is definitely more challenging than we all thought it’d be when we were kids – but we can navigate them with God’s help! He created every last molecule of existence, His handiwork shows His love, He delights in sharing it with us (Psalm 19), plus He sees the beginning and the end of it all (Revelation 22:16). None of our problems are too small that God is not concerned, nor too big for Him to handle.
When we’re overwhelmed and dragged down by worries, we must stop and pray, casting those cares on the Lord (Psalm 55:22). At times we simply need to step back and and take a deep breath every once in a while to notice the blessings around us, so we can once again regain that sense of wonder, purpose and joy. When we connect the dots and see the big picture of grace, then we can more joyfully move ahead into whatever adventure the Lord has for us next!
For me, the best kind of details are in God’s Word, worship, fellowship with other believers, and enjoying His creation. As I delight myself in the Lord and look to Him, He gives countless blessings along the way that keep me smiling (Psalm 37:4)!
Hopefully the photos I share for the challenge are a blessing for others. I always look for life’s little blessings and then look for ways to share that encouragement and hope with others! I hope and pray the same for you.
Blessings to you, this day and always!
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