Take, for instance, the insane moments with my children. I have three of them and I love them dearly, but at times they like to bounce on my nerves. I’m sure every other mother on the planet can relate. One day as my son was doing a backflip on my last nerve, I decided to pack everyone in the car and just go for a drive in the hopes that it would help everyone just relax. During our drive we were stopped to wait for a train to pass. My kids LOVE trains – they will stop whining and just enjoy watching the train in action! While we were stopped my husband’s text came to mind. One minute … anywhere … look for beauty. I saw the train and A LOT of graffiti. But I intentionally looked for the beauty. I took the time to write down my thoughts during that one minute:
What would a train be without graffiti?
Graffiti, to some, is a reminder of rebellious spirits full of ignorance.
But trains bearing these beautiful wounds are no longer steel boxes moving along a fixed path in a monotonous pattern; instead, they are a steel canvas – a fluid storyboard that carries different meaning and insight to each city it greets.
And what was once viewed as destructive behavior now reveals a creative spirit along winding paths that don't seem so fixed ... but instead travels forever in the eyes that experienced it ... the eyes that truly saw the art and not the rebel.
I found beauty in a place that I would never have expected it – because I looked for it. It only took one minute. I just saw a common train, but by putting aside everything else in that moment, I not only saw the train, I was able to see past the graffiti and think about the humanity that created it – their struggles and their stories.
We all have a story – deeper than our covers and deeper than our smiles and generic responses of “I’m good!” Since that moment with the train, I try and see past people’s actions and look deeper into who they are and not just what they do or how that act. For me, that moment helped break the chrysalis of judgment and cynicism that I often dwell in.
So now I offer you this challenge. Stop for 60 seconds, “just a minute,” and look around no matter where you are and find beauty. You don’t have to write about it, but once you stop to notice the beauty that God displays for us every minute of every day, you will want to share it. And that story continues on in the hearts of those you share it with.
Liz Morgan is a program administrator for CIY and mother of three. To contact Liz, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.