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Zoom in for gratitude
Emily Krill
by Emily Krill
November 27, 2023

A French artist named Lucas Vaskange creates a specific style of digital art known as infinite zoom. Each image he creates has another image within it that you can only see by magnifying (or “zooming in” on) that specific area.

For example, in one of his more recognized works entitled “Holidays,” the first image is a young man sitting at a drafting table in a very futuristic-yet-charming bedroom space. In and of itself, it’s already a very intriguing space to look at because of the finely drawn details. However, once Vaskange starts zooming in on the image, you notice that there’s a Polaroid photo on the bulletin board facing the man. Vaskange continues to zoom in on the image of the man and a friendly character in that Polaroid photo until it fills the whole screen, making this image the focus of the art instead of the bedroom. This zooming process continues through 10-12 different discovered scenes until it ends with a final image of the man and the friendly character waving goodbye.

This reminds me of gratitude.

Sometimes it’s incredibly obvious why we respond to circumstances with gratitude—when someone gives us a really thoughtful gift or responds to a mistake with grace rather than frustration. It’s as simple to appreciate as the very first image you see in a Vaskange piece.

But other times, gratitude requires intentional, exploratory “zooming in.” When my mom died unexpectedly, my reaction wasn’t gratitude. I prayerfully accepted the painful loss, reminding myself that God is good all the time, but I wasn’t grateful. Over the course of time, however, I was able to see that there were relationships that were formed in the ruins of that loss that probably wouldn’t have been formed if I had my mom to lean on. These relationships sent my life on a completely different trajectory—a trajectory that I am deeply grateful for.

I zoomed in.

James, Jesus’ brother, talked about this same idea. He said, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:2-4).

So, see the trial—but don’t stop there.

Zoom in on the trial to see where it may be producing perseverance within you.

Then zoom in even more to see evidence of godly maturity growing and internal deficiencies shrinking.

It’s a long game sort of mindset. Be patient with yourself in the tough moments as you prayerfully look for ways to see God’s goodness. I have a feeling there wasn’t a whole lot of gratefulness floating around on the day Jesus was crucified. But we have the blessing of being able to zoom in on the miracle that changed everything just three days later.