Friday, December 23, 2005

Under the microscope

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.

Merry Christmas!

1 comment:

Rod said...

Happy Holidays! I hope you and the Rev. and all that wonderful family we hear about are enjoying a blessed holiday season. Now, as to your observations....I would tend to flip the picture you've painted. When we look close at the things created by man we indeed find we have been taken by illusions, that what we have thought was whole is nought but a collusion of meaningless bits of fluff. When we look at things of Nature, that created by God (the Universe, the One...) we find order and meaning down as far as man can look. In many cases we see that marvelous fractal geometry of patterns repeating themselves in finer detail. In your crossstitch example, I see the "front" as man's view of reality, a forced judgement (ah,there's that word again) of a world following a particular order. God's view takes it ALL in, knowing the wholeness of "order" and "chaos" to be WHAT IS, sans judgement. As we begin to know our Identity, we will learn that we are here to see AS God's eyes, to hear AS ears, to sing AS voice, to simply return the Awareness of WHAT IS back to WHAT IS, all the while being an infinitely unique expression of WHAT IS. Happy and blessed New Year to you and yours! Rod