I had another opportunity to fool around with Photoshop, the editing software, this week. I was uploading another photo of myself to an MT site, and all of a sudden, my curiosity was piqued and I performed the greatest of fear feats, more horrible than King Kong, more scary than Fear Factor. I decided to use the microscope tool and zone in on my face.
Awash with the feeling that I definitely should not be doing it, I zoomed in on a pink spot I considered a defect. Then I zoomed a little more. Anyone with photo editing experience can deduce what I saw next. I saw no defect. I saw no skin, no face, no follicles, no cells. All I saw were pixels. Various color pixels. Unrecognizable pixels. Meaningless pixels.
Where was the defect? I even got geographically lost on my face. I couldn't even remember exactly where I was in the picture. My cheek? My chin? My forehead? Good grief!
I reversed the microscope and zoomed back out, then out some more. Ah, there I was! It was my face! With the defect! Clear as day!
I repeated the steps, zooming in, zooming out. The difference was amazing. The entire picture was made up of pixels (thousands? millions?) which, standing alone, had no identity and no meaning. But together, they made up my face.
It seemed kind of backwards, really. Usually the closer in you get to something, the larger the defect looms. Instead, on closer microscopic-like inspection, defect had virtually disappeared.
One of Ed's sermon involved a cross-stitch picture I had made (and never had framed). He showed the congregation the back of the picture. It was a mess of tangled threads and colors that twisted and criss-crossed with pieces of thread hanging off where they were cut. It was basically unrecognizable as a picture. He would say, "That's what our lives look like to us."
Then he turned the picture over and showed the congregation the front - a perfect, well-stitched picture. Then he would say, "And that's what our lives look like to God."
I am always brought to a new level in thinking when something like this happens. When you look at yourself (and humanity) through God's eyes, you see the recognizable picture. And somehow, the defects recede and you focus on the beauty of the picture. It's my wish for all of us this year.