Have you ever seen an impressionist painting? Up close everything is a jumbled mess and it is hard to see the purpose or result. The blotches and strokes are random and the colors are in no particular order. In a sense, it can be dizzying. It is not until you begin to take that step back and look at it for what it is. The mess becomes organized.   The purpose becomes clear. The colors, well, it is the contrast that makes it beautiful. It takes the shadows, the dark areas, to bring forth the beauty of the lighter colors. When we step away from the situation, our eyes are able to focus. Each one of us has or is facing a shadow in our painting. The floods come in with tremendous force. We lose a job. A family member passes. Children stray. Friendships end. Spouses leave. We experience failure and it suddenly feels dark. It often feels as if someone has taken a bat to your chest. To be honest, the good times just seem a little too far off. Ever feel that way? I have and probably will again. But I want to see the finished piece. I want to press on and walk humbly to see how the hurt and dark points in my life create this masterpiece. As I begin taking steps back, I see just a glimpse of the beauty that is there. Time will bring it into focus and I will see clearly how beautiful life can truly be. I just have to wait.

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