Although I rarely attempt to make my phone photos look better than life, I do sometimes edit them in an attempt to more accurately reflect the beauty I saw in the moment I captured the scene.
Even a professional photographer would have struggled to accurately record the photo above, because scents and sounds were a part of its beauty. The vastness of the sky overhead, the waning sun's rays permeating every leaf and blade of grass, the haze that formed beams of light through my phone camera's lens: oh my it was lovely. The photo also could not accurately show the true color of the old-fashioned roses, and I hadn't even noticed that pipe from our waterline intruding in the foreground. And so I cropped, adjusted exposure, and applied filters, and although the edited photo still isn't nearly as beautiful as the real-life scene, it is a closer approximation.
As I was editing this photo, it came to me that it is important to allow the Lord to edit my memories of upsetting events in my past. I've been struggling with memories of an emergency surgery I endured a few months ago. I hate anesthesia, and the drugs I was given for pain caused hallucinations. I do remember I wasn't afraid during that long dark night immediately following the surgery, even though each time I closed my eyes, weird hallucinations began like a film resuming play. I felt immobilized by the drugs and was unable to tell anyone what was going on.
As I was praying about all this, it came to me that it isn't that the events surrounding my surgery weren’t as bad as I remember, but that I was more helped, more sustained through the ordeals, more loved than I remember. Our memories can't be trusted because we remember facts, but the beauty of God's comforting and sustaining presence, although very real in the moment we are in, is more difficult to recall later on. This is probably because our physical senses have trouble recalling spiritual realities. Just as my phone camera doesn't pick up the full depth of beauty of the real-life scene, our memories have trouble "seeing" the very real comfort God provides through every ordeal.
As Micah Taylor's song, Never Been a Moment says, "...there's never been a moment I was not held inside Your arms, never been a moment You were not who You say You are..."
Dear Lord, we release our memories of those hard things we've endured to You. Help us remember with the eyes of our hearts Your love, Your sustenance, and Your strength that have seen us through every moment of our lives.