Photo and Commentary by Darren Milam
Wednesday, January 25, 2023

This past week, I, along with several other thousands of employees, were informed our jobs had been eliminated. In the moment, there is shock, discouragement and pain. You start to process the situation and there is a moment when you only see the loss and can’t see what’s next.

In this first image, what do you see? Well, if I did my job as the photographer, you can clearly see a few thorns on this green stalk. Now, if that’s the only image you had a chance to look at, you’d think of the time you got stuck or scratched by these brutal, sharp barbs. You might even pull your finger or arm back in a wincing motion, recalling that quick stab of the little spike. Only pain, from these thorns – right?

Maybe we should continue to pan out and see the bigger picture. What do you see in this second image?

Exactly (I presume I heard you say the correct answer) – a nice juicy berry. In this particular case, it’s a Rubus spectabilis (but you already knew that). For us laymen folk, we call them Salmonberries. This plant is actually part of the rose family, bearing delicious edible, tart and tangy fruit. If you haven’t had one, seek them out. They native to the west coast of North America – Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California and into Idaho.

Now, don’t you feel better? Are you still dwelling on that vicious thorn attached to the lower part of the bramble? Or is your mouth watering at the thought of that orange-yellow (or red) fruit at the top of the bramble? I know which I am thinking about.

You see, whatever moment we have in our day (or career), we have the tendency, as humans, to look at the negative side of things. That’s due to the sinful world we live in. When we take ourselves out of that situation, or at the very least allow God to show us the big picture, we now see the resolution. Every day, I want to concentrate on seeing the end result, not just the ugly/painful part. Pray, with me, when you can only see the thorn, that God will supply and show you the fruit.