Driving through the Canadian prairies on any given day one must only glance to the left or right to find century old homesteads of yesteryear. Some leaning heavily to one side, on the brink of collapse… some windows gone or broken, others once brightly painted…now barely recognizable from years of rain, wind, and sun and a life lived vigorously through the decades. Echoes of life lived once upon a time in days gone by, now but a very distant memory.
Photographers.. novice and professional, young and old, come from miles around and sometimes cross-country to photograph the stoic beautiful monuments of memories of the past as if to enshrine them as a testament… each telling a story of their own, giving power of sorts to the still photo… lest we forget.
I loved my grandma and Grandpa’s homestead. It was built many years before my time. Stepping into the small entrance, grandma’s homemade braided rug soft yet rugged under my feet,led the way. My eyes traveled to the opening to the large immaculately kept country kitchen. The house flowed well from one room to the next, all furnished and decorated in a way that helped me remember my grandma and grandpa in a fond loving way. They are good memories I cherish to this day. I love thinking back on those memories.
Thier homestead is long gone now as are they, yet I have wonderful fond memories in the present and will taken them into my future.
Yet in our lives we have leaning, crumbling buildings with broken windows and echoes of life lived, enshrined in the still snapshots of our minds, giving power of sorts to the still photos we have painted in our hearts.
Unlike the pictures these rugged beauties of the prairies century old buildings create…our pictures painted in our hearts of these still shot memories of the homesteads, empty buildings of our past… still inhabit more than just the crumbling leaning walls and faded paint and broken windows. Our hearts still tend to live in these homesteads of yesteryear, holding on to those snapshots long gone yet very much alive in our hearts and minds.
Shattered windows (dreams), leaning foundations (not knowing our true identity in Christ), faded paint (not giving a true picture of what was once the truth), faded memories of the echoes of times past…still holding on in the present.
Our hearts cannot truly appreciate the painting of our lives in the present If we hold onto the still snapshots of the old homesteads(heartaches, hurts) that belong in the past.
Leave them abandoned in all their beauty of life lived. Let the still snapshots of the past be only a reminder. Let it symbolize a thing of beauty…(beauty in all the healing) as the Prairie photographers portray them.
Then, and only then, can the homesteads (our healed hearts), of today, be the beautiful still snapshots we bring into our tomorrows… snapshots of the beauty of a life lived and healed by the only One who can..
a part of a beautiful snapshot of the present… and let it remind us…
from whence we came.