While on my summer missions trip, we explored the grounds of an Orthodox church. As I understand it, this Orthodox church was one of the first in Russia (but I could be wrong).
Walking through the metal gates that housed the church, I could imagine myself arriving early for morning prayers. As the sun peaked through the unsuspecting clouds, I pushed wide the heavy gate and ventured towards the courtyard. Once through the gate, the sand that rested upon the cobblestones could be heard crunching beneath my feet. Flanked by high walls and thatched roofs, the bells began to ring calling others to join me for morning prayers. I would climb the steps to the hallowed room where only the priests could venture into its inner chambers. Women stood to my left and to my right with their heads covered with scarfs – some old, and some young beckoning a touch from the priest. Candles and incense awakened my senses as the light reflected the ornate gold that covered every wall from floor to ceiling.
Several times a day, I ascended and descended the stairs to give my prayers – to light a candle for those that have been lost, and to share in the rich history.
At the end of the day, as the sun is setting, I would pass a cross in the courtyard and three lampposts. One day, I stopped and admired how the lampposts always guided my path.
Each night I took for granted how they led me out of the courtyard and down the cobblestones and past the big wooden gate. I searched for the understanding of how I could miss the majesty and beauty of the lampposts. In my haste, I always lost track of my footing and found myself resting upon the dirt. Grumbling to myself, I got back up and hurried out the gate.
However, today, as I panned the courtyard, the lampposts seemed to guide my path – lighting each step I should take. Stopping to take a breath before heading home, I realized that the light was always shining and guiding my path so that I would not trip and fall. This evening, I strolled a little slower, breathed a little easier, and allowed the light to guide my footsteps.
When I take a picture, I am always looking for the story. I am searching for the “what could have been”. I took this picture in the late afternoon as we had time to stroll around the grounds of the Orthodox church. As I was waiting, I was fascinated by the symmetry of the lampposts and how the path wove around the them. It was as if someone had carved the path on purpose so that the light would catch the footsteps of its occupants. The elements of the story above are completely fiction except for the details of the church, the courtyard and the walk-up (visually speaking).
How many times do you miss the seemingly everyday moments such as lampposts and paths? This picture was photographed in color and had vivid blues and greens which are very common colors in Russia, but the aged look tells a different story entirely. As your eyes drift towards the last lamppost, you find yourself walking the unforgetable path towards the cobblestones and large wooden gate.
This week, allow yourself to get lost in the story of life. Maybe it is a picture that takes you back to your childhood. Maybe it is sunset that reminds you of something wonderful. Whatever it might be, take time (if only for a minute) to reflect on the grace and goodness of that moment.
When you look at this picture, what do you see? You can leave a comment here.
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