The Rothko Sky and the Slow Movement of Hope

A friend recently enlisted me in a photography project; the first assignment was 2D photographs. Yesterday I stuffed my iPhone in my pocket as I went for a hike, occasionally shooting my shadows (confession: I’m easily mesmerized by my shadow).




Then I looked up. At first glance the sky looked like a flat blue, one of those double-coated paint jobs. It seemed a bit too bright and boring for an Ash Wednesday.

But then I kept looking.

It wasn’t until I snapped a photo that I really began to see. The blue moved slowly across the frame, rivaling the finest of Rothkos.

By Mark Rothko

By Mark Rothko

I was reminded of the power of framing things—framing seasons in life, framing perspectives, framing hope.


I can so easily lose sight of hopeful shifts, of growth, of actual transformation. I live in a world where things can change. I embrace a faith where hope invades, even if ever so subtly.


Lent creates a forty-day frame. One where we’re invited to pause, isolate a time for certain prayers, look for light, and see the slow movement of hope—hope in the Story of God, hope in our own hearts, hope in the flat blue of a world around us.


God, teach me to see.