What do you See?

What do you See?

As an artist and photographer, I have always looked at the world a bit differently than most people. I have a tendency to notice the little things and connect my surroundings to my background in art.

I am constantly composing a picture in my mind, viewing each scene as if it were framed in a camera viewfinder or constrained by the edges of a canvas. Without knowing, I begin to dissect the world into colors and shapes. On rare occasions, I will wake up to the way my mind works. This morning was one of them.

While driving into the city, the morning sun was still in the early stages of its ascent. It was hanging right at eye level, flooding the streets of Cincinnati with a white haze and covering every taxi, skyscraper, and pedestrian with a golden glow. Everything was washed out from the piercing sun. It was hard to see anything except the light.

As I came to a stoplight and waited patiently behind the bus in front of me, I noticed something. The top of the bus was blocking the fiery sun from my direct view, and suddenly I could see everything around me. Just moments before I couldn’t even read the advertising on the back of the bus, but as I slipped into the shadows, suddenly I could see clearly the people crossing the street and the license plate of every vehicle around me. What happened?

A camera lens is designed to work much like the human eye. The aperture, or opening of the camera lens, works like a pupil. When you look at something bright, like the sun, your pupil constricts to prevent too much light from entering your eye. When a light source is directly in front of you, backlighting a scene, it becomes very difficult to see anything. Your surroundings look washed out. That is because your eye is not letting in enough light to illuminate objects around you.

On the other hand, when you are in a shadow or the direct light source is blocked, your pupil dilates and allows in more light which can then illuminate and reveal the details of your surroundings.

As I considered the fascinating design of the human eye, another thought crossed my mind. Jesus is called “the light” several times throughout the Bible. And much like the sun that lights our earth, when we fix our eyes on Jesus, the Son of God and light of the world, everything else around us becomes strangely dim, or washed out in this instance. Everything else in our life, bad or good, seems to fade away when Jesus is our focus. It is when we block the light source or stand in the darkness of the shadows that we can become consumed by other things that seem to crowd our vision.

It is a rare moment to have our eyes and minds flooded with Jesus to the point where we can see nothing else. On earth, we only catch glimpses of these blissful moments. More often than not, we are standing in the shadows.

But one day soon, we will stand before the Son, His light will pierce our eyes, and we will see nothing except His radiant face. Nothing will matter when we stand in the presence of the King.

I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me! (Job 19:25,27)