Unexpected Blessings


Why sometimes what we’re looking for isn’t what we’re meant to see


For my birthday in 2008, my sweet husband bought me a camera.    Somehow I had lived well into adulthood and never had a camera of my very own.  I had been wanting one for a while and I knew I wanted a small, user-friendly-idiot-proof digital one to carry with me everywhere.  He knocked it out of the park and bought the perfect little camera for me.

Immediately I began to look at my whole world through my camera’s lens.  I started talking to friends and coworkers about their own interests in photography as a hobby, looking at their pictures and taking tons of my own, experimenting and learning what my camera would do.  What a joy to see everything in a new, more mindful way.  

The grounds around my workplace are beautifully landscaped, so I spent a lot of lunch hours outside photographing flowers, trees and insects.  I have always been fascinated by bumblebees, and I spent most of that spring and summer stalking them, trying to take the perfect bee picture.  In all this stalking, I never once got stung by any kind of stinging thing, by the way.  I received plenty of mosquito bites, but not the first bee sting.

One afternoon I was so focused on stalking the bumblebees that I almost missed a gorgeous yellow swallowtail butterfly that landed right in front of me!  Once I saw it, I prayed a quick prayer:  “Lord, just let it stay there long enough for me to shoot it…with my camera!”  I was able to get several shots before if flitted and floated away.

It got me thinking about how often I go about my life with tunnel vision, so focused on one thing, one outcome, one purpose.  How often I miss something wonderful while chasing after something else.  I could have easily missed—or dismissed—the butterfly while stalking the bumblebee, and missed a wonderful moment of beauty and surprise.  

I am grateful for the butterfly’s lesson.  In the fluttering of its wings I could almost hear God saying, “Be open to the unexpected.  Be open to surprise.  Be open to blessing!”  Indeed.  Lord, help me to be more open to Your wonderful surprises!Image


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