Looking for the sparkle

This post from a few years ago recently came to mind, and I thought I'd share it again. Still continually searching for that sparkle.

Standing in the church parking lot I glanced across the road to the tree line along a pasture. The setting sun illuminated a fringe of branch tips in a remarkable way. I tried to capture the moment with my cell phone, but it was one of those situations where a photo doesn’t do it justice. I wondered how I could depict the sparkling scene on a canvas.

Since I’ve had a brush in my hand more often, I spend time watching the way light moves across the grass in the early morning and how it glints off the side of the pine trees. I get lost in the clouds studying how lights and darks interact with each other. It doesn’t have to be a dramatic scene. Just one cloud in the sky will distract me with its own unique signature of puffy white and billowing dark.

As I’ve followed more landscape artists on social media, what I’ve noticed is most don’t select well known scenes to depict. They make a career out of really seeing and painting the commonplace.

It almost always has to do with the light. So, in the past few months, I’ve been often searching for the brilliance of it and how it’s moving—hoping, hoping to somehow capture it in a bottle.

I still have a lot to learn and a long way to go.

Spiritually speaking, I’m also trying to keep the mindset of looking for light—to hunt for it in the everyday happenings we all encounter. Despite annoying and sometimes tedious situations, if we have the mindset to seek the light, we’ll often see the flash and shimmer of our mighty God at work right where we are.

Of all the verses about light I could choose, one strongly comes to mind. “The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1). There have been times I clung to this verse with everything in me— like when I had cancer twenty-one years ago. In times of crisis, we are intent on consistently seeking God’s light, but as a crisis abates, our will to do so may ebb.

Let’s renew our determination to be on the lookout for a glimmer of God no matter where we find ourselves. We may not capture it with a brush and paint, but we can for sure be encouraged as we hold the glow in our hearts.


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