little light

Today as Caleb and I were driving through the Trader Joes parking lot, I saw this old lady poking around her car. She might as well of had a bee keeper suit on with all she had going on. She had scarves and boots and a mask, she had a hard hat on top of it all and more wraps and long gloves. It was like she was a germaphobe to the max. She was holding her cover to her mouth and had eyewear on too. I'll be honest, the first thing I thought when I glanced over to my left to see this woman was, "Good lord!" Then, I instantly checked myself. I didn't know her story. I didn't know why it is she has her own makeshift armor of hats and layered clothes parked onto her body. I don't know what she may or may not be struggling with. I didn't know if maybe she was sick and finally able to venture out.

And so, with that, we did our shopping, while she eyed me with suspicion, possibly because I had a runny nose. She even moved her cart away.

I don't know what makes people how they are. Our stories vary so much from each other. Some are sad, some are beautiful. But they all should have respect.

Henry David Thoreau said, "The perception of beauty is a moral test." I don't really feel like this counts. But what Thoreau said is good to keep in mind as we go about our days, not to judge others, but to look for their beauty. This can also go beyond people and extend to a lot of things. Today I had an initial reaction, and then I instantly checked myself and shifted my thinking.

A few weeks ago, Jessie and I went to LA for some street art and an art exhibit. Here are pictures from that, and other random moments.
Cuz even Superman has to crash.

Street art featured on 118 Winston, some photos of the toy district in LA, and some photos from Hannah Hooper's art exhibit.
I love trips into other cities and places. I love seeing how other people live life and what that looks like for them. Sometimes I look at apartment buildings with window sills shackled up or boarded, or covered with fabrics or drapes. I wonder about the lives that live in each of those spaces. I wonder about what sort of dreams and hopes and love each space contains. I wonder about their hurts. We all have them. And we are all here. Like the multicultural variety of ant like people we are. God sees each one of us. It never ceases to touch my heart or blow my mind a little.

Moving on,
Caleb meets Bob & Larry with limbs. 
And here we have Caleb hiding. Could you possibly guess where he built his little lair?
Caleb's rendition of a walrus.
Pullin' some mama duty, strangely surrounded by the smell of piss. 
My Trader Joes helper, doing what he does. Wearing wrong shoes on wrong feet. Again. 
Sometimes when Caleb tells me he is afraid of the dark, I sing the song "This Little Light of Mine." Occasionally, this only makes matters worse, as my singing to him sometimes offends him deeply. Other times, he will listen and hold up his finger-light. This gets me to start thinking of what the words to that child hood song actually mean.

This little light of mine
I'm gonna let it shine

What does that mean for us as adults in our lives? In what ways do we let our lights shine? Could we extend kindness? Could we look at someone that we would normally ignore? Could we simply be more aware of ourselves and our surrounding environments? I don't know. But we have a light. Whether or not we use it and how, is the question.