I took the photo above a little over a year ago. Can you tell what it is?

I texted it to my wife, who is a painter, and she quickly texted me back: “This is beautiful! Is it a Mako?”

Makoto Fujimura is my favorite painter, but this is not a photo of one of his paintings. In fact, it’s not a painting at all... this photo is of the floor directly outside my office.

I had been grumbling all week about how hard it was to get any work done in a construction zone. We were having flood damage repaired, and there were people everywhere. It was loud, and I was annoyed. The workers ripped up the old carpet and this photo shows what was uncovered beneath. I confess that I stomped over this “painting on the floor” several times before its beauty struck me. Dr. Cecelia González-Andrieu says, “Beauty lets us know in the most unambiguous ways that God is here. God is here!” I walked out of my office that day frustrated by the chaos around me, but in that moment, beauty arose from the floor and allowed me to sense God’s presence. I was humbled and grateful.

That beauty is literally gone now, covered up by new (ugly) carpet. But I still find myself glancing down toward that spot with a smile every now and then. It reminds me to look for beauty in the not-so-obvious places. When I do, God is always there.

Tim Wildsmith