Look for the Beauty in Everything
“For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.” Romans 6:4 (nlt)
My neighbor’s weeping willow slouches, with ominous melancholy, toward our back fence. Its branches do just that—weep—onto our yard: twigs and small, slender, tear-shaped leaves. It invades the airspace of my backyard, and has, on windy days, dropped large branches, oblivious to the nuisance and danger it creates. All right, it does provide shade for the house, which is sometimes appreciated. But as the weather cools and the leaves drop in earnest, I’m not so appreciative.
One branch in particular annoys me—completely dead, leafless, the gray pallor of its skeletal limbs, which are like finger bones reaching for the sky. It waits for the next storm to crash into my back deck, but until then does nothing, serves nothing. provides no shade and disrupts the otherwise lovely view.
This morning, washing dishes, I looked out at the branch, my eye pulled by a flash of red against the gray. A woodpecker clung to the underside of the branch, its bright red-capped head drawing my attention. It pecked at the wood, apparently finding food within. Then a pair of cardinals flitted among the branches, stopping on the smooth, dead branch to offer a trilling song.
What appears useless or annoying is not always so. Sometimes the starkness allows a better view of the beauty we would otherwise miss.
Jesus let go of His privilege and power, and actually died for us, in order to bring us life. Following Jesus requires us to also let go of our ambitions and die to ourselves, so that we can live new lives.
FAITH STEP: What annoying or useless thing in your life might actually serve a purpose, even if that purpose is to provide a backdrop to the beauty you might not otherwise see?
Written by Keri Wyatt Kent
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