It's another perfectly lovely autumn in Minnesota.
As many times as I've gone out to enjoy the transformation over the years,
there is no end to the places to discover the beauty.
Each year brings new surprises.
Right now, the colors are spectacular.
As I looked more closely, however, I noticed I wasn't looking at perfection.
I was looking at decay,
death, and decomposition.
All that beauty from what some might pass over at first glance.
From what could be considered flawed or defeated.
It reminded me of what Ben told me when I picked him up from school yesterday after a chess match.
"Well I won, but it wasn't pretty."
He made a mistake, but he stayed vigilant and thoughtful, and took advantage of another opportunity
to redeem himself.
Sometimes beauty comes out of something that isn't pretty--
and redemption makes it all the sweeter.
I have photographed a lot of amazing people lately.
My goodness, I have seen so much beauty! Every one of them.
But I'm sure most of them are hoping I'll be careful to hide whatever they think "isn't pretty".
I hope when they see themselves they see so much more than
the flesh and bones.
I hope they see the life and the heart.
I hope they see some of their story.
I hope they notice some of the transformations that may have gone unnoticed.
In a good way!
I hope they see light in their eyes,
and love and laughter.
I hope they see that the seasons of their lives that bring difficulty and decay
eventually lead to restoration and rebirth.
I love the redeeming, restoring God
who made us with delight,
who covers our imperfections with His glory,
whose power is perfected in our weakness,
and whose reminders of beauty ring out all over the earth
through every season's transformation.
I love that He is transforming us, with all of our imperfections,
into something lovelier than we dare to imagine.