In 1888 Tsarist Russia, artist Nikolai Yaroshenko created a painting entitled “Life is Everywhere”. It depicts a group of people, including a young family, being carted off to Siberia or some other such place of exile. Despite their circumstances, the group looks out through a barred train car window, joyfully captivated by a small flock of birds feeding in the nearby light. Pastor Matt Heard describes seeing this painting in an art gallery, casually passing it, until something in the corner caught his eye. He had almost missed it: on the other side of the car, another man faces out the opposite window, standing in solitary darkness. The title of the painting, as well as the juxtaposition of these two groups, would suggest that though life can be found anywhere, one must choose to see it.
Albert Einstein presents the choice this way: “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” It doesn’t seems to be a choice that can be made once & for all. As the circumstances of our lives change, & even as each day presents itself, we must make the decision again & again. Engaging in each present moment, praying & giving thanks in all things, viewing trials as challenges & opportunities for growth, positively framing our experiences & interactions are all ways we make the call…all ways that shape the life we live as miraculous. This is Life, with a capital L, & affirms what Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote: “The true way to live is to enjoy every moment as it passes, & surely, it is in the everyday things around us that the beauty of life lies.”