What do you see when you look at this barn?
Worn, toppling over, hazardous, useless; perhaps just a collapsing barn like my kids pointed out?
Maybe you see a perfectly broken object that tells a story.
Do you see art?
I would love to have seen this barn in its glory days, standing tall and strong, a sturdy shelter for animals or hard working machinery. I wonder if this barn would go unnoticed if each piece of wood was solidly in place as before? Would people see all the potential?
I can imagine all of the reclaimed furniture that could be created with this weathered wood: farm tables where family could gather over home cooked meals; mantles that lovingly hold pictures of toothless kids and grandparents who left a legacy of love. I can envision long beams placed high into the ceilings of houses, stabilizing the very foundations we build inside the places we inhabit.
When I see objects like this barn, it reminds me that life is all about perspective and our histories often shape the way we look at things. It also points out that it's never too late to take a step closer to the brokenness and find the beauty residing there no matter how hard it is to get close.
Stepping near, into the shadow of this barn and all that it has become as a result of the physical storms of life, I can see where life springs forth from the fragmented, damaged spaces and it is so very beautiful.
Today this barn had a story to tell me about my own humanity.
"Come closer to me. Don't just see me as broken down and weary from the downpours and the windstorms that have left me withered. Don't be scared of the façade of my defectiveness because I can no longer meet the expectations you have always placed upon me. I am not useless and I am not done. Step closer and notice the way the flowers cling to the framework of my being, how the sunshine streams in and washes the rust, the chipping paint, the shattered stone in radiant light. I may be insignificant by the world's standards but I am filled with infinite potentiality. When you are able to see the value in me, then so you will see it in yourself."