as i made my gazillionth trip past the stairs this morning, i was stopped in my tracks by these rays of light. i don't take the sunshine for granted during our dreary illinois winters and am thankful for these brief intermissions in normally gray skies. the smudged, marred walls that can sometimes make me cringe brought a smile to my face. i traced the fingerprints and scuff marks with my eyes. they reminded me that even when life is messy and tough, joy can be found if viewed through the right filter. if i allow my hope in God and His promise of reconciliation and renewal to be my perspective, the unsightly is transformed into beauty.
"To all who mourn in Israel,
he will give a crown of beauty for ashes,
a joyous blessing instead of mourning,
festive praise instead of despair.
In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks
that the Lord has planted for his own glory."