Sunday, April 5, 2009

Color Restoration

I was sitting at my desk scanning some old photos before I placed them in my scrapbook. My scanner has a feature called 'color' restoration'. I keep it checked, figuring it is probably a good idea. On most of the photos, the difference is negligible. Some pictures simply become brighter, which is not always a feature I want. But there was one photo I scanned that made me examine the original and the restored copy.
It is a picture of my children's father, walking in the rain. It's a silly picture and one of my favorites because he is wearing blue shorts and cowboy boots and holding an umbrella. The sidewalk reflects the drops and you can tell it is late fall because the trees are almost bare, and there is an abundance of golden leaves on the ground.
I see all this in the original picture, which was probably taken in 1988. I can see the surrounding apartment buildings in the background, I can see the fading grass. It is a picture I took, and I remember it well. It is so familiar to me.
When I scanned it using the color restoration feature, I was taken aback. What I considered familiar, was in fact, faded. The restored photo brings out the brilliant green of the leaves that remain on the bushes. The bare trees stand out in deep contrast to the golden leaves. The sidewalk is a city slate grey, not the warm tan it appears to be in the original photo. Bill shorts are a bright blue, his t-shirt a contrasting yet equally bright red. The umbrella a sleek black, reflecting the silver raindrops.
How could I have forgotten the true nature of a picture I am so familiar with?
Time faded the beauty of the colors, blending them into soft yet almost lifeless shades of tan and yellows. And time faded my memory of what it was originally like.
So often, our relationships with our friends, our siblings, our spouses and even with our God are like that. Time fades the original beauty into something familiar, yet dull. We forget the beauty we once saw in the eyes of our newborn, or the brilliance that attracted us to our spouse. And we forget the way we once viewed our God. We become too familiar with what we suppose Him to be, and we are comfortable, but no longer impressed or moved by His beauty.
Scan your life today. Select the color restoration feature as you look at your friends, your family,and your God. See them with the eyes and the heart you once saw them with. Forget the wounds that hasten the fading process and open your eyes to the beauty, the brilliance, the wonder that is still there.

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