Monday, May 12, 2008


Rhododendrons, originally uploaded by chanchanchepon.
Since my return from Atlanta, I have been saturated here up north with a ton of rainfall. It's been overcast and dreary with little evidence of the sun, but this morning gave me an interesting insight.

I stepped outside my house thinking I would try to capture in a photograph the dismal bleak overcast haze that has found its way to hover over Morgantown, and that's when I saw this photo's target. I have a rhododendron growing in my front yard. It's the state flower in WV. I hadn't been in my front yard for over a week (travel tends to do that to ya), and so when I stepped outside to capture an image of cloud cover, I was pleasantly surprised by these blooms. This bush stood defiant of any gloom that tried to permeate my day.

Sometimes it can seem like the gloom can suffocate a person, and then there are little glimpses of beauty and hope that stand in stark contrast like this. Wet with rainwater, these blooms really brightened my day, and I hope they do the same for you. Understand that they do not change reality--it's still overcast in Morgantown--but they offer a little glimmer of something better right in the middle of things.

In a world where thousands can be wiped out in a moment by a cyclone, where plagues like HIV and Malaria seem to be spiraling in their own forms of devastation, and where millions of children are suffering from the errors of a previous generation, it's refreshing to have a little hope.

We get to see hope in something as seemingly trivial as the blooms of a rhododendron. Amid a lifetime of hurt and a world filled with both joy and tragedy, we get to experience hope in the gift of eternal life offered by our Messiah Jesus. And then, just like the rhododendrons, we get to be a sign of the hope of the world to come when things all around look dismal and grey.

May you experience beauty amid the chaos in your world today, and may you bring that experience to light for those around you. Better yet, may you be used to offer some glimmer of hope to those who may only see the dismal grey of dispair.

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