When I look at this photo, I am taken right back to a hike in the hills of Costa Rica. I can smell the flowers, the lush greenery and the dirt. I can see for miles and everything is green except for glimpses of metal rooftops sprinkled throughout the forest that catch the sun. The ease of this beauty is quite a stretch from the reality of the people who live there.
The path is often washed out and not always easy, but the trip is well worth it. I stopped to catch my breath and take in the view and that is when this fence post caught my eye. I spent the better part of the next twenty minutes just staring at it; picked up my camera and captured this image. As I look at it now, my first impression is of beauty. Then I have to chuckle because it is not often that a worn out post with spider webs and barbed wire is considered beautiful. Indeed, the background gives it a burst of color, but that which is in focus, is hard and sharp and colorless.
I like the post because it has texture and character. Was it painted before or is that speck of green here and there something akin to moss growing on it? The post has been there awhile and although battered, it is still of value…the barb wire needs it. The spiders too I suppose. The spider webs add some interest and give balance to the photo. They are soft against the rough exterior of the post. Both the post and the webs suggest time gone by; both are at the end of their lifespan.
The barb wire serves a purpose in the larger picture, keeping things in and keeping things out. You have to be careful around this because it has great capacity to cause pain. Is it significant that this is the only thing in the picture that is man-made?
The background is blurred, but still very present. I love the contrast between the harshness of the post and barbwire with the soft greens in the background. I get a sense of hope, healing, and possibly even a new beginning.
Or maybe the lush green background represents the past. Is this a glimpse of the life of the post before it was cut down?
Could the barbwire be our human footprint on nature and the worn out post be representative of what we are doing to the environment?
Could the post and barbwire be a difficult life and the background the promise of a better future?
This photo has become one of my images of God. The green signifies the promise of growth and life. Maybe out of focus because we only have a foreshadowing of what is to come. The post, webs and barbwire represent a broken world. They also represent the pain and struggles in my life and they represent Christ who was hung on a post and cut by the wire; God present in our struggles and pain. A God who came to us in a way we could understand; who knows what pain is.
The life of a Christian is not all roses and a nice glass of wine. Just because you believe does not mean that you won’t experience the brokenness of this world. But the promise is there…see it? In the background?