It's Five Minute Friday - and the last FMF of 2013. If you'd like to join in with 5 minutes of nonstop, unedited writing (or read other posts on today's prompt), visit Lisa-Jo here.
I did Project 365 the year I was 21. In my quest to find something interesting to photograph every day, I discovered something: if you are trying to take a picture of a reflection (because that is something that I do - a lot), you must set your focus for twice the distance between the object and the mirror. So, if you're standing 3 feet away from a mirror and you set your focus for 3 feet away, the image will be blurry, because you'll have taken a picture of the mirror itself. But a further 3 feet into the mirror is where a clearly focused reflection stands.
Sometimes I would use that wonderful trick to get a clear detail shot of something closer-up than my camera could actually handle, since it perceived it be twice as far away as it actually was. I also noticed that a dirty mirror could become an antique filter instead of a blemish. My favorite was to find a place where surfaces reflected into each other and then decide which reflection I wanted to highlight.
To keep my focus where it needs to be over this busy visiting/holiday/moving season, I've been reading Ann Voskamp's book One Thousand Gifts. She talks about the grace we are given, the thanksgiving that it should invoke in us, and the joy that reflects back when we are truly grateful for His redemption. And that made me think about taking a picture of a reflection...
Grace. That's the original, and where our first focus should fall. Then there's our reaction - that's the mirror. Will we focus in bitterness or despair on the smudges of selfishness, hatred, and discontent that smear the glassy surface, perfectly clear in Eden but now darkened by the fall? Or will we look deeper to find the redemption at the heart of it all, and let it invoke gratitude in our own hearts? If we will, then the deeper joy within will overcome the cloudiness and grime, and the sun that rides above all shadows will shine through.