I love taking pictures. (You're thinking "Oh - you don't say? I hadn't gathered that by the hundreds you've posted of on this blog" lol.) But I discovered that I love 2 different kinds of pictures. I love pictures like these...
Crisp, clear, vibrant - capturing bright and beautiful moments. Positive, pure and pleasant.
These pictures make everything seem more alive. I think "wow...look at those eyes...those little teeth." I love the detail . Everything is in focus. The subject is obvious. The feeling is happy. The purpose is clear.
I also love pictures like these...
A different kind of beauty - a little mysterious - a mix of light and shadow. The image isn't as clear or focused - it's slightly hidden and and blurred in places. Not as easy to read - but it has a certain kind of magic and charm that makes me want to stare at it longer - causing me to wonder...and daydream.
It doesn't just capture a smile...it captures a moment.
And as I thought about how I like them both - it reminded me of how life falls into similar categories. Sometimes it's bright, clear and easily navigated. The details are visible and arranged in a lovely sort of way and your purpose seems clear. Other times, things aren't as well-defined.
The future seems blurry and you're not sure what to focus on.
There is light...and there is shadow.
What is amazing is that there are the blessings in those moments - learning to trust, letting go of perfection, finding beauty in simplicity or renewing your faith from fear of the unknown. Sometimes it takes being unable to see our future...for us to stop and really look at our lives. At how much we are blessed. How much we are loved. How much we can give. How much we've been given.
So as much as the photos are different - and certain times in our lives are different
- at the core of each there is beauty.
The beauty that sometimes we DO get answers and meet with success and validation.
And the beautiful knowledge that during times of "not-knowing" our faith is growing.
Life can be difficult. I'm not sure why that still surprises me. This is not a perfect world.
But life can be so beautiful. I love when beauty surprises me. And His strength is made perfect in weakness.
And living my life with that focus...I don't have to be able to see every detail. I can find beauty in light...and in shadow. I can feel confident in the blessings I see...and the hidden blessings that may take time to reveal.
And I can love these snapshots of life for the ways they different - and the ways they are similar.
Because they are beautiful.
And they are life.