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"Seeing Beyond Our Immediate Circumstances"

I took this photo about a month ago (June '04) during a walk I was taking. That particular afternoon I set out to be alone with my dog to do some reflecting upon the past year as well as the ensuing anniversary. As I was walking through this magnificent field of greenery, I noticed a few storks of grain that stood above the rest of the foliage. It really captured my attention.

I've already shared my personal struggles to "hear" God's voice, to somehow know or sense that he had a particular reason for taking my father home. I, unfortunately, never heard that voice. Without hearing any particular word this entire year of what transpired in July of 2003, this image - the one you see above - spoke volumes to me and maybe, in some small sense, this was God speaking directly to me.

This photo was inspired by my father's unique life. As you can see, the background is quite blurry, yet the one shoot is clear and stands erect above the rest of the plants below. That was how I and countless others viewed my father.

Although my dad was really a behind the scenes type of person, he still seemed to stand above the rest of his contemporaries. His impact was much more subtle yet the response of his passing certainly indicated the influence he had on those he came in contact with.

I've compared my father's presence to that of the eye of a terrible storm. No matter how bad my surroundings were, no matter how concerned I may have been about my future, he always had a way of doing two things. First, he gave me a clearer perspective. And then, second, he reminded me that everything would be fine. Nothing was more comforting than hearing my father's voice. He always looked beyond my immediate situation and envisioned my future. Bottomline - he had that keen ability to see what would be and not what was.

Thanks dad for giving me a taste of how Christ sees us. Thankfully Christ sees beyond our limitations, our waywardness, and broken parts; instead, he chooses to see what our futures with him will be. May we strive to live lives that make a difference, lives that stand out above the rest, and bring honor to the One whose given us a second chance.