As I walked along the busy Boulevard of Kalakaua in Oahu, HI; my heart dropped as I seen an image that was in far contrast to the postcard scenery of beaches and luxury shops on every corner. What I seen before me was “homelessness”. No-matter where you go, there will be those among you who literally have nothing. My mind immediately went to the thought of “In the midst of beauty there will be ashes”. I couldn’t help but think of what life must be like for the people that sleep on the streets in Kalakaua Blvd in Hawaii. They are in the midst of some of the most luxurious shops, such as Gucci, Prada, Cartier, just to name a few. But yet, in the midst of wealth all they have is what is seen.
Anyone who knows me or even follows me on Social networks would be able to tell that I absolutely love pictures. I believe that in many ways life can be captured better with an image than with words. And the opening picture to this week’s inspiration says a lot. I can assure you that not many, if any visitors of Hawaii, come and take pictures of the homeless that they had to walk over or ignore as they went about their day. However, I couldn’t help but capture what I seen. I couldn’t help in thinking that many people that walk by daily are just as empty as those without homes.
Kalakaua Blvd in many ways captures life for much of our society. It represents a state of being, a state of attainment and something that is desired by all people, no-matter the race, gender, or age. Everyone is searching for identity, a spiritual home where they can hang their hat (heart) and feel secure. But security is an interesting concept because its based on what a person thinks they need in order to survive.
Can I encourage you to take a moment and think of the defining factors of your life? What defines you currently? What are you lacking that you feel would better define you? Your response or better yet, the thoughts that come to mind in this very moment are the very things that will help you understand who you really are.
The people that lay along the wall that you see in the opening picture, are the very people that are along the boulevard of the desired people, places and things. In one direction, you will find Waikiki Beach, in another you will find any and every store you have every thought of, including the famous “ABC” stores and in another direction you will find anything from 5 star hotels to top restaurants. What a sight to see. What a realization to come to, that in knowing that everything that is desired in life comes not only with self examination but also with moments of displacement.
During my time in Hawaii as I celebrated my birthday, I found myself thinking of current defining factors in my life, as well as areas of displacement because of personal decisions. However, as I have entered into a new year of life, I have made the decision to show and display “The pictures that no one took”. You see, these pictures are not just in reference to the homelessness of Hawaii, this is reference to the homeless state of feelings, thoughts, and responses to life that create walls and barriers. The pictures that no one takes are the pictures that can never be edited, cropped, or deleted. These pictures are best displayed when reality and honesty become apart of one’s everyday attire; which by the way will never be available in stores.
I invite you, No I challenge you to do just what I’ve done in this particular picture to the right. You will notice that three of the pictures capture the beauty of “beach life” but the bottom right hand corner is pointing to where those that are homeless sleep. Interestingly enough, all of the pictures have been taken from the same location, which means that in the same place that beauty lives, often emptiness and displacement dwells as well. However, the choice is yours. You can either live as if the “homelessness” of your life does not exist and capture what others deem as desirable or you can make the decision to tackle everything that tries to keep you separated from the life that you’ve been created to live.
Your homelessness may have come out of a place of disappointment, shame, or maybe even rejection but you must choose daily to take a picture of what everyone else will ignore. Don’t allow another day to pass you by, living in a place of beauty but not being able to enjoy it, because you are displaced in many ways by choice. We all have been given a story but we have also been given a choice and decision to live freely before God.
Don’t go another day without seeing the whole picture. You owe it to yourself to dig deep and because you are so valuable and important, you owe it others to be blessed by your presence and willingness to see the bigger picture of life….It’s time to stop editing, cropping, and deleting what you don’t like and welcome the beauty in every moment because like it or not, this is who you are. Look around you, get a really goo intake and start living your life in a positive direction of what you are willing to see and what you are willing to address!
What pictures have you refused to take of show others??
Love God. Love People. Love Life