Same but different



Sherry keeps geraniums on our porch.  I have shown pictures of them in the past, and in the dull gray of winter their intense pink is a respite, a small bit of color that invades the monotones of snow, ice and darkness.  The porch is made up of 238 individual panes of glass that face south, letting in enormous amounts of light.  It may well be the best part of the house.  We use it year around, and if the sun is shining, regardless of the season, we can sit out there during the day and enjoy the warmth.

Today was a sunny day, and the geraniums were in bloom.  We were praying on the porch, and, as we usually do when we finish our prayers, we were talking about what we just did when I noticed this flower right in front of me that was pretty much lit up like a flame.  I like to play with backlighting, so I intentionally overexposed the background so I didn’t turn the flame into a piece of coal, which is what would have happened if I followed the usually-good advice of my light meter.  This was shot at 1/100, f2.8 at 70mm.




Then I went to the other side of the flower to capture it with the sun in its face and I metered off the flower itself.  I shot this at 1/3200, f2.8 at 70mm, just like the one above but with different exposures and different viewpoints.  They were shot at 3:23 pm and 3:24 pm, respectively. I was no more than six feet away on the second shot from the first.

I find that utterly amazing.  How is it possible that we can see the same thing, but from different viewpoints and come away with a completely different image?

I had this happen to me recently outside photography.  I had an encounter with a person with whom I have worked over the years that left me angry, bitter and resentful towards this person.  The image I had was this was a person who didn’t appreciate what I was doing, how much I was helping him/her, and, by God, how ungrateful he/she was for all that I had done!

Then he/she talked to me, without realizing the depth of my anger. It turned out my image of the event was totally flawed, and that it was just my perspective that had driven my emotions.

This action, which I am afraid is very common to us all, separated me from this person, but more importantly, me from God.  It’s difficult to be in a loving relationship with someone, be it another person or God, when anger is the driving force.

I see the beauty in the encounter now, better known as grace.  My anger led to grace, as I was able to see the love that had been shown to me even though it looked all the world to me like someone was out to get me.

Like the flowers in the pictures, our view of others changes based on our perspectives.  I find great beauty in both these photos.  We can find great beauty in each other if we are willing to look at how we view those around us.

I love our porch. It’s full of light, warmth, prayer, love and grace.  Just like the people in our lives.



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