Beautiful Mistakes

As roaming photographers and videographers for MAF, Mark and I have taken A LOT of photos in the nearly two years we’ve been on the road. 41,596 photos to be exact! Photos of planes, giggling kiddos at remote airstrips, pilots and passengers, and waaaaay too many pictures looking out of airplane windows at jungles and mountains. For some reason, the camera just can’t quite capture the beauty our eyes see while high above the world below.

As anyone who has ever taken a photo will understand, our pictures don’t always turn out the way we expect. Sometimes we can blame it on other people or outside causes. I don’t know how many times I’ve thought “I’d have the perfect photo if that dude hadn’t just walked into my shot!” or “This would look so much nicer if the sky wasn’t gray.” Most times though, it’s user error. Wrong settings, wrong angle, wrong moment.

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But every now and then, something amazing happens. When I’m looking through my photos deleting the really bad ones, a mistake will actually jump out at me as beautiful. I never would have thought to take a photo like that on purpose, but the end result speaks to me more than if that photo had been perfectly shot.

It reminds me of blunders I make in my life and how sometimes they allow me to see things in a new way. When I say the wrong thing that ends up leading to a deep conversation, when I order incorrectly at a restaurant and end up with something delicious, when I take the “scenic route” on accident and manage to see something amazing along the way, God is showing me how to find the beauty in my mistakes.

It would have been tempting to delete these photos on first glance and erase the record of my errors, but then I would have missed out on their imperfect perspective. Instead of burying missteps in my life, I’m learning to take a second look.

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