The Meaning Behind the Distraction


If you’re a photographer, the first thing you see is probably not the beautiful sky and silhouetted trees as I originally intended. When you look at this picture, the first thing you see is the big red hand in the middle of the frame. Yeah, it drove me crazy too. But the sunset was just so pretty and I was at a stoplight, so I had to hit the shutter just then!!

Recently I was in a teachers’ meeting for my local church’s upcoming Vacation Bible School this summer (if your kids aren’t already signed up, go do it now at )!! The theme this year is Into The Wild and a lot of the material surrounding it has to do with photography and capturing the perfect frame. This picture with a big red hand in the center is most definitely not one that someone would usually describe as “perfect”, however, I think it represents a very fitting and  applicable truth to my life, and hopefully, many others’ too.

One of the principles we discussed in the VBS meeting was something along the lines of zooming in close in order to eliminate the distractions. I think everyone would agree that this red hand is indeed, a distraction. But, it depends on the perspective in which you approach viewing the photo. Obviously, I was attempting to capture the beauty of God’s handiwork, but when I looked at the picture a while later, I saw beauty in this distraction and it became the main focal point of the photograph. 

When we are crossing the street (legally), there is either a red hand or a white walker on the screen on the opposite side. When it’s a red hand, we know to stop. We trust it isn’t safe to cross the road, so we just stay where we are and wait patiently. If there is a white walker, we are confident in the fact that it is time to safely cross the street, and begin to cross. 

God has recently been showing me how to trust him- how to trust him when I feel lonely and left out, how to trust him when I don’t understand why all my plans for my future have suddenly changed, and how to trust him when I am hurt by a loved one. A quote from a bible study I am doing goes like this and has become a reassuring peace that I have needed daily: “God is good. God is good to me. God is good at being God.” These are three truths about God I have learned that I need to rest in. 

Taking a picture of this sunset, I was focused on its beauty and artistic intricacy. However, God had a plan that this particular sunset would teach me much more than surface level beauty because of this tiny object placed in the center of the frame representing Him telling me to stop. Slow down. Trust in me, and I will get you to where you need to be. 

Obviously, as human beings, we easily become stressed and overwhelmed with the unexpected events of life. That is why it is such a beautiful and reassuring fact that God has a plan for us- even i the midst of the chaos, the hurt, and the stress. 

This picture has given me encouragement that God is still here, directing my steps and taking my plans and reminding me that they should be His plans. I am leaning on Christ right now more than ever, and it still amazes me that he never fails to meet me where I am. God is selfless and his unconditional love is unending. He doesn’t get burnt out like we do. He constantly pursues, constantly loves, constantly encourages and is constantly present. There is a beautiful sunset on the horizon, but God is simply commanding me to wait and trust that one day, the screen will change to a white walker and I will be able to walk across in faith and live the masterpiece with no distractions and no big red hands (at least until the next one pops up). And maybe He is commanding you to do the same.  But for now, we must find a purpose, and we must find joy in the journey. And we must remember:

God is good. God is good to me. God is good at being God. 


“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'” Jeremiah 29:11

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