Everything in life can be viewed differently by onlookers. A personal life situation, a piece of art, or a world event. Various people can witness the exact same experience and yet they each hold a different perspective.
I recently took my son to take some photos. He had come across a location he wanted to shoot while on a bike ride and without camera equipment.
The area was under the bridge of a busy road. We had to park a ways away and walk. I could tell immediately that we viewed the location differently. I pulled out my phone and took some photos of my own.
I saw a lot of garbage. In bags. On the ground. In the water. I cringed when he sat on the ground for a low photo. I quickly scanned for needles while encouraging him to stay on his feet. I looked around to make sure we were truly alone while wondering what hidden message might be in all of the graffiti.
My son viewed the scene differently.
He saw how lines of the bridge framed colorful artwork and how it reflected in the water at different angles. It must have taken someone hours to create.
Calm in the flowing water seemed to open to the hope of community.
Birds on a ledge seemed like a hidden treasure. Regardless of how the lens was positioned, my son was not satisfied with his efforts to capture some birds. Noticing how they had found shelter on the bridge, I was reminded of how all my worries were unnecessary.
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? Matthew 6:26-27
Had I been holding the camera, I may have viewed the scene differently. Still, I would not have sat on the ground. Maybe that is cynicism, but I like to think there’s a measure of wisdom as well.
I cannot help but wonder what other scenarios I’ve experienced where my view is so different from others—a good reminder to stop and take a moment to look at a scene from another perspective. I hope my son continues to see beauty through his unique and innocent lens. Still, I will pray the words of my wisdom will be a nagging conviction to always check his surroundings before ever sitting on the ground.