When beauty seems like a slap in the face...













How sunlight pierced the cloudless cerulean sky and mockingbirds serenaded from sweetgum trees bursting with new growth and wildflowers danced in the breeze on carpets of green while butterflies drank in the bloom's sweet nectar.

I remember like it was yesterday - that afternoon in April twelve years ago today that was my momma's time to die.

The beauty of spring  - it seemed like a slap in the face. 

I stood outside the room, where I'd bathed and washed and fed my beautiful momma the last year and a half of her life, as morticians moved her lifeless body onto their cold steel gurney - and I was mad. 

Mad that on that day in April, the sun would dare to shine and grass grow thick and green and birds would serenade praise from the top of flourishing trees and butterflies could drink in the goodness of blooms dancing wild and free and alive.   

So in the middle of this week in April, I sit in the pasture chasing butterflies through the lens of my camera and imagine how maddening my delight would be for those whose lives have exploded by the unspeakable, and how could I dare to share life that goes on and frame beauty around me in pictures.  

The truth is that every day - not just the days evil plants bombs and blasts level communities - someone grieves a life that has blown up and been ripped apart by the sins and injustices of this fallen world.   

Maybe that's one of the reasons we are given artistic gifts - why I'm compelled to push pain and grief for the losses of others aside that I might sit with a camera and soak in and capture glimpses of the goodness of God in a broken and hurting world - to be reminded that a time for singing is coming, and our Redeemer, who endured the most cruel injustice of all, lives and comforts and heals and saves and makes everything beautiful in its time.