Pathways through Lent

Alleyways

Psalm 31:1–4, 15–16 Job 14:1–14 or Lamentations 3:1–9, 19–24 1 Peter 4:1–8 Matthew 27:57–66 or John 19:38–42

The Christmas after my husband and I moved to D.C., my mother, an accomplished artist, surprised us with an incredible painting. When she and my father had visited over the previous summer, she had taken all kinds of photographs of our 1908 Victorian row house. We had been eager to share it with them—with its rows of turrets, tree boxes, and beautiful façade—and when she presented us with a painting, we knew what its subject had to be.

So as we removed its paper covering, we were astonished to find the view of the alley from our back deck.

Really? That’s what she chose to paint?

But it is beautiful. It’s the view that the residents don’t lead with, the backs of the houses that bear little resemblance to the fronts. It’s another look into the lives of the people living within.

And it’s a reminder that beauty lies in unexpected places. It’s in people, places, and things that would not necessarily grace the pages of a glossy magazine but warrant a second look from a different angle.

During this season of Lent, I am reminded that, if we keep our hearts open, God reveals to us the beauty in our everyday lives. My mother captured that—and more—in her gift. Finding that beauty, and giving grace to others, helps us to see the true art of possibility.

–Betsy Daise

 

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