Have you ever noticed how much easier things are to see once someone points it out to you? Or how we all see differently depending on what set of eyes we are holding?
Two people could be looking at the same sky, and one could miss the flock of birds flying by. But then, when one person calls attention to them, it takes over and seizes the mind.
I think seeing beauty is the same way.
It’s like sitting in a room full of people all keeping to themselves and doing their same old routines, and then someone leans over and says, “Look how beautiful she looks.” You then take note of it.
It’s those moments where even though we don’t have or aren’t wearing the eyes to see the beauty around us, someone else is willing to choose to call our attention to the sweet moments in life.
Recently, I’ve been praying for God to open up my eyes to see this big beautiful world the way He sees it. For what it is, but through His lens – in its brokenness, in its glory, in its messiness and its majesty. And the crazy thing is, He has been answering this prayer. Already I feel like I have been walking through life as a character in a movie who has the secret key to unlock joy: Paying attention.
It’s like the scene in About Time (if you haven’t seen this movie, then clear your schedule to watch it immediately) where the protagonist has the ability to time travel, which allows him total control over his moment-by-moment to rework anything that didn’t go as planned. But instead, his father tells him the best thing he can do is not to try to change his day but to notice all of the beauty around him in the most ordinary scenarios.
Yesterday, I was lying in bed at the end of the day, and when asked what my favorite parts were, I thought about the simplest moments that brought my heart delight—that brought me hope in a world that can often seem all too quick to call attention to darkness.
But today, I’m convinced that it’s so full of light. It’s just that sometimes we don’t see it.
It’s full of moments like seeing a little boy in Sunday school put his arm around the girl he is crushing on.. only to have her shrug him off because of cooties.
It’s in seeing the sweet old man at the red light next to you smile and wave…and then gesture to his apple to tell you how good it tastes.
It’s in the eyes of a grocery bagger who asks about your day and tells you to listen to her favorite song on the way home. When this brings so much life to her day, she proceeds to write the name of the artist and song on the back of the receipt to make sure you don’t spell it wrong. (It was Sam Cooke’s “Good Time”…a close second to her 80’s pop music).
It’s in watching a dad and daughter eat doughnuts together at a coffee shop on the way to school.
It’s in seeing a stranger stop his day to help another stranger of a different age, race and gender jump her car in the Walmart parking lot.
It’s when classes are canceled unexpectedly, when someone buys your coffee or when you see the most beautiful sunset on the way home because of traffic.
It’s found in all of these things, and life is waiting for you to see it.
Thankfully, the spirit of God in me was the little tap on the shoulder saying, “Do you see how beautiful that is? Keep watching, because it never stops being beautiful.”
It is my prayer you and I will be recognizers of beauty in the world because I’m convinced it will save your life and the lives of others around you. See the smile. Send the smile. And then remember it for the days that it’s harder to see or send.