Last week, the high school students I teach read two poems by Pablo Neruda. The Chilean poet won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1971. The students read “Ode to Salt” and “Ode to Olive Oil”. Neruda took two commonplace, everyday ingredients and turned them into something beautiful.
The salt sings. The oil transforms from the “perfect capsule” (as an olive) into an essential part of the salad dressing. One of my students, before reading the poem commented, “Why would anyone write a poem about salt? We throw that on the road and drive over it.”
This student stumbled across an important truth. Our perspective defines the beauty around us. Olive oil to one might be simple a pile of grease; to another an iridescent miracle. We choose which we see.
The same is true about people. People are basic. People are everywhere. Each one of us is simply another regular life passing through this world. Yet, God sees the beauty in us. When we allow him to show us ourselves through his eyes, we transform into beautiful things. Our commonplace, regular lives becomes something significant and extraordinary.