Beauty Beneath It All

Today, I will be sharing the essay I submitted as part of my application to Xavier University, now almost 4 years ago. To this day, I am still proud of this essay - and the memory is as vivid in my mind as it was so many years ago. 
Snap. Snap. Snap. My camera flashed constantly, capturing every beam of light that flickered through the worn out windows and onto the bare, uneven floor. The closet next to the crumpled heap of what used to be a fireplace was left slightly ajar, revealing a sole hanger sitting on the rusty rod suspended inside. Snap. I soon discovered a red, leather, rocking chair sitting in the middle of a deserted attic; it was torn, and the padding inside was falling all over the floor. Snap. My fingers raced across the border of a broken window. The roof was within my reach, so I climbed outside to grace the cool, red metal with my presence. Snap. It was peaceful here, despite the cobwebs and miscellaneous families of spiders that seemed to hide in the most unlikely of places. I closed my eyes, trying to soak in the serenity of this old, dilapidated place, but I knew there was more to be seen. A surprise was waiting for me.

The Victorian farmhouse that my friend and I had discovered seemed to possess a certain presence about it. I could feel the family who once lived there; I could envision them walking about and doing their daily chores in my mind. As I entered the basement, an old television, an open refrigerator, and a rusty medical gurney welcomed me. To the left, there was a room filled with crushed Mason jars that gleamed with light from more broken windows. Snap. The house was a collection of ordinary hidden treasures, yet I still felt that there was something more. I wanted to find something that would relate in my life; something that would give me a sense of purpose. I glanced once again at the medical gurney on my right. I wonder what happened here? I thought. A family member must have been ill not long before the house became deserted. Did they believe in life after death? Heaven? God? I could feel a presence in the house…but where was it coming from?

I trudged along behind my friend Megan, still intent on finding some unexpected surprise. I carefully set my foot on a rotten step, making sure it wouldn’t give out on me, and began the journey back upstairs. No sooner had I begun climbing when Megan exclaimed, “It’s a cross made out of sticks!” I looked down at the step and saw two small sticks creating a cross. Snap. This was exactly what I had been looking for, and it was where I felt the “presence” was coming from. I stared at the figure before me for a short moment, and then looked up at Megan and smiled.

On the way back to our car, I glanced once more at the broken house. It was then I realized that God exists everywhere, and that even when everything is falling apart, a glimmer of truth can still be discovered underneath the rotting soil. All I have to do is look for Him.

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