Sometimes an ordinary photograph can speak to us of extraordinary things. This one was snapped last Thanksgiving. My nephew declared it ruined but I knew differently.
Whatever we may choose to call it, The Wilderness, The Desert, The Dark Night of the Soul, Poo Poo Alley—we have all been there. I once heard a preacher say that we are all either entering into wilderness or just exiting it after a time of wandering. Some of us spend more time than others wandering. I think I may have already exceeded my "wandering allotment".
And occasionally, if we are not careful, whenever we are in that darkness, our perspective becomes skewed in such a way that we are not seeing correctly.
You can't see it clearly, but here is what the quote on the page says:
"A lecturer to a group of businessmen displayed a sheet of white paper on which was one blot. He asked what they saw. All answered, "A blot." The test was unfair: it invited the wrong answer. Nevertheless, there is an ingratitude in human nature by which we notice the black disfigurement and forget the widespread mercy.
We need deliberately to call to mind the joys of our journey. Perhaps we should try to write down the blessings on one day. We might begin; we could never end: there are not pens or paper enough in all the world. The attempt would remind us of our "vast treasure of content." (Attributed to George Arthur Buttrick)
Next thing we know, the only thing we can see is one dark blot. And we lose track of the light that is in our life. I lost my sense of gratitude and I was full of self-pity. I had forgotten the widespread mercy that permeates my life. This was the attitude I had taken with me on my journey during Lent.
I don’t know what happened exactly (though I do know Who is at work) inside me. The darkness is still there. Anyone can see it. But it no longer overwhelms me. (And let me be the first one to make perfectly clear that I am not announcing that I have "arrived" and things will now be rosy forevermore!)
Miraculously, it would seem, something changes, and an ordinary photograph takes on a whole new substance. And that which was thought to be worthless and ruined is saved (though it is still very ordinary!).
(Yes, the first photo and the last photo, lightened up in Photoshop, are one and the same.)