I was at my manicurists house the other day when her eight-year-old son was desperately trying to get his Mom’s attention and suddenly he cried out from the kitchen “It’s a miracle!”. We wondered what he could possibly be talking about. After a little investigation, it turns out he had just opened a sour cream container and the lines on the top of the sour cream made a flower shape. It was just the lines left from the container being filled with sour cream, but to this boy it was a miracle. He had found a rare treasure that made him rejoice with excitement!
Life is all a matter of perspective, isn’t it? After all, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, right?
I recently had a healthy dose of fresh perspective from my dear friends and neighbors, Evan and Annette, who came to visit me from Wisconsin. They literally are my neighbors in Wisconsin, they moved next door when I was thirteen-years-old and now they are a part of my family!
After living in one place for a long time, you simply grow accustomed to it. I’ve been living in Krivoy Rog for fifteen years now and in that time I’ve heard my city called “dirty” more times than I can count. Of course it has it’s moments of beauty, but it’s easy to gravitate towards the negative. Krivoy Rog really has improved a lot in fifteen years – less litter, improved roads, grocery stores, coffee shops, benches in parks, and they are even starting to mow the grass once in a while! It’s easy to forget how much it’s changed!
Of everyone whose come to visit us in Ukraine, I’ve never heard anyone talk so well of Krivoy Rog. Annette and Evan kept saying how beautiful the city was – tree-lined streets, parks, restaurants with attention to decorations, and of course the fields of waving wheat outside the city. At first I thought they were a little crazy when they compared our little walking street to the beauties of the Champs-Élysées in Paris. (Which is still hard for me to believe, but, it was nice to hear!) But after several days of walking through our parks, along a hiking trail, and exploring in general – I began to see Krivoy Rog the way my friends did. I truly appreciated seeing my city through fresh eyes. Through eyes that loved what that saw. This brought refreshing to my soul! I started to fall in love again with my city! Not that I despised it, but in the everyday I’d lost the beauty of all Krivoy Rog contains. Yes, there are definitely more beautiful places in the world and far more beautiful places even here in Ukraine; but Krivoy Rog holds it’s own treasures.
I told my Ukrainian friends how much my American guests loved the beautiful city of Krivoy Rog. They had a hard time believing it.
Beauty can be found in the simple and the everyday, if you open your eyes to look for it.
A path by a stream. An undisturbed field. Watching a father help his daughter learn to roller skate. An old woman taking time to feed the stray cats. A beautiful fountain in a park. A good cup of coffee. Tree-lined streets. Interesting architecture. Big blue skies. Worshiping with God’s family from around the world. A field blooming with yellow flowers visible from your bedroom window. Being kind and simply bringing a smile to another person’s face. There truly is beauty surrounding me here on all sides!
We all need a little fresh perspective at times. The routine of life or difficulties can blur our vision, but if we get back to the simple things it’s easy to see that beauty surrounds us constantly. I pray our hearts can stay simple enough to rejoice like a child over finding a flower in the sour cream.
That in itself is a sermon, finding the flowers in the midst of the sour (cream). They exist if we open our eyes to see the glory of the Lord around us! That’s why Jesus spent so much time in prayer, connecting with Father, to make sure His eyes were continually seeing the way Father sees, and to keep His perspective fresh with the ways of heaven.