It was a long & arduous journey, our trek from Alabama to Oklahoma to visit my daughter, but one I wouldn’t trade for anything. Not only did I get to spend time with both of my children, my son-in-law, & a friend, but I got to see many unusual sites & learned a few lessons along the way.

My son helped me with the driving, but I still did a great deal of it myself. I had on a nice pair of sunglasses whose UV protection was far & above that of any of the other pairs of sunglasses that I own. It makes things look almost high definition. The only problem was that I had to keep asking my son to help me read the map screen of my navigation system because those sunglasses made it difficult for me to decipher it for some reason. It took me many, many miles to figure out that I could look over or beneath those glasses and see the screen just fine. Funny how those lenses colored my perception.

I was thinking about that yesterday evening when I looked up and saw some spectacular cloud formations. Suddenly, there appeared to be light rays surrounding one of the clouds that almost looked like a rainbow of sorts. The rays were a golden & violet hue. I could see two distinct layers. Quickly, I snapped photos with my cell phone. I have this penchant for sharing delightful moments of my life with others on social media. And those clouds with that light appearing from them looked truly spectacular & were a fabulous reminder of God’s glory to me.

After I took the photos, though, I was disappointed to see that the colors did not really show up on my phone screen as they did in real life, at least not from my vantage point behind those sunglasses. Nonetheless, I posted the picture with a caption, “To God Be The Glory”, then went about my business, followed by a very nice dinner date that kept me out pretty late.

So it was not until this morning as I was waiting for the workers from the fence installation company to remove my old fence that I started sorting back through the photos that I took on my phone yesterday in order to delete them. I was stunned to see that in one of the pictures I saw the faint yellow & purple glow that I described above. Funny, how the perception was changed now that I was indoors & not looking through the sunglasses at my phone screen. Isn’t it that way with life? Depending upon whose  opinions we are filtering things, & what light we are viewing them, we may or may not see the good in any given situation.

(Unenhanced photo)

My beloved grandmother had a way about her in that she would always try to see the people she loved in the best colors possible. I often wondered about that. I wondered how she could so easily gloss over the darkness & focus on the beauty in them instead? But since the advent of social media, I have started taking pictures of the bright Sun bursting forth from the deroest & darkest clouds. I do that as a reminder that the light is always present & always waiting to burst forth, if we will just look up & wait on it to do so.

I decided to see what that same exact photo would look like if I hit the enhance button on the photo editing software. Mind you, I did not change the light that was present, I just deepened the colors. Sure enough, when I made an effort to enhance those pretty colors, I saw them even more vividly, & the darker part of the cloud, though still very much there, just seemed to fade away in my mind’s eye. Even though the darkness was very much present, the beautiful violet & goldenrod colors are the ones that captured my attention.

(Enhanced photo)

That is exactly what my grandmother used to do. In relation to one of her brothers who had survived World War II & a torpedo attack on a submarine in the South Pacific, & who probably suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder long before it was given that name, she chose to focus on his good heart, rather than his inability to hold down a job. Regarding her crotchety & cranky neighbor lady, she chose to focus on the infirmities & loneliness that caused her to be so bitter & irritable, rather than her unpleasant demeanor. Rather than focus on her son’s alcoholism, she chose to focus on his charming personality. And so it went, so on & so forth – at least among those that she cared about or loved, & she cared about almost everyone.

She was far from perfect. She was a human being. I’ve heard stories about what a strict disciplinarian she was as a mother. I know that some probably thought she was judgemental due  to her rigorous moral standards. But she had a heart of gold, & she chose to look at people through the lens that God would have us view them. 

Sometimes I do not see things as clearly as I should, because I’m looking through the wrong lens, just as the screen for my navigation system in my car is not really compatible with that one pair of sunglasses. Sometimes I see things more clearly than those around me, such as when I’m wearing that same pair of sunglasses, & I see the colors that my cell phone only hinted at seeing. But every once in awhile, I see things as I did when I hit the enhance button on that photograph, in a way that God would have me see them. In those moments, I see that the light always comes forth from the darkness, & I see the beautiful colors that are there if I will just look for them.

Let us remember to enhance the good that we see in others. Let us remember that beneath the dark clouds of their actions, lies a beautiful soul awaiting enhancement by the Master Artist, which will permit their true colors to be seen by all who chose to look through His lens. Let us see others as He sees them.

– Lou Lehman Sams 


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I am a Southern Belle, through and through. Born and raised in North Alabama, where my family settled in 1808, when the area was still the Mississippi Territory, I come from a line of Planters, Patriots, and Pioneers. They were people who were unafraid to take risks, who said what they believed, and who honored God and their Country. Like my ancestors before me, I have strong values, believing that the Golden Rule is indeed golden. I write as a way to relate and as a release. I hope that my words may inspire, challenge and provoke one to thinking about how extraordinary things can come out of ordinary places, people, and things.

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