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  • Writer's pictureBrandon 'b.Side' Alvillar

Making Plain And Ordinary Things Beautiful

So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” - Matthew 6:28-29

Macro photo of a lily flower lit with pretty yellow and pink colors
Plain. Ordinary. Cheap

This is a photo of a lily that came from a bouquet of flowers that was bought at a local grocery store. My mother-in-law paid like $6 for this mixed bouquet, and had it sitting on her kitchen table when we went over one day to visit. She had these flowers in a plain glass vase, which was next to another fancier vase that had a bunch of orange and red mosaic glass pieces all over. I happened to notice this incredible light on the flowers by total accident. When you walk into the house from the front door, if it’s between the hours of 4-6pm, prepare to be blinded! The sun shines through their back sliding-glass door, which has no curtains. That sunlight hits their glossy wood-finished floors. The reflection of sunlight that comes off of the floors is BRUTAL if you happen to look right into it. On this particular day, I did. To take my eyes away from the brightness of the sun, I looked to my right. That's where I saw how the reflected light was hitting the mosaic vase, and then hitting the flowers.

 

I had my camera and a macro lens in the car and wanted to capture the way the light was becoming this whirlpool of colors from the different reflections. There were a lot of different flowers in this bouquet, but the way the light was painting the white petals of the lily, was pretty great. That was my focus. When I finished shooting, I stepped back and realized something cool, that I think is a helpful and encouraging Biblical principle for all of us. God is able to make plain and ordinary things beautiful!

 

The LORD is the light of the world, and as Christians, we’re called to be reflections of His light. Each of us are individually called to be a small part of His huge work. We’re each individual parts of a body that work and function together, so that when you see the whole body of believers, you see the beauty of Jesus Christ as the Head. In this case, we’re each like individual petals on the lily being painted by the light of the LORD reflecting onto us. The cool thing about this photo is that, while it could pass off as a fine art photo in some circles, it’s just a lily. It’s a filler flower in a bouquet that cost less than $10 at a grocery store. There’s nothing compelling about that. When you consider the truth, the subject of this photo is so simple, ordinary, and cheap.

 

Personally, I’m a lot like this flower. I’m pretty plain, ordinary, and cheap. No one is looking at me, and comparing me to a rare flower in an expensive bouquet. I don’t come from a prominent family with a praiseworthy background. I don’t have a refined education with accolades and degrees. I don’t have any real merits or accomplishments to boast of. I just try my best to reflect the LORD. I can say though, it’s been the reflection of His light, mixed with His reflection in the lives of others around me, that shaped me to be something of value and beauty in His eyes. If there is anything commendable in me, it’s ALL on account of the work that Jesus Christ has done to turn something plain, ordinary, and cheap, into a complex manifestation of His own glory. As Christians, the transforming work of Jesus Christ should be making all of us that are plain and ordinary, into things that are beautiful in His sight.

 

Often times in life, the things we stress about the most, are connected to how we hope others perceive us. Usually, those factors are tied to worldly things, not the glory of the LORD. Usually in those instances, we’re not thinking about how the LORD sees us. Jesus told us not to worry about that stuff. He told us to focus on Him and His glory – His beauty, His majesty, His righteousness, His holiness, and His purity. He pointed to the lilies of the field to prove His point. When looking at the outward beauty of someone as rich and established as King Solomon, Jesus figured the plain, ordinary, and cheap lily was more glorious. When you see what reflected light can do to a plain, ordinary, and cheap flower, like in this photo, it should be encouraging to think about what the LORD can do with our souls and our lives when His light is shining on us, no matter how plain, ordinary, and cheap we might think our lives are. It’s all about how He paints the light of His glory onto us, regardless of our true condition.



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