Photo by Ramona Balutscu
By Mary DeTurris Poust
What do you think when you see the photo above? Does it make you sad to see John Paul II's image tossed on the ground with the rest of the trash left behind after crowds packed St. Peter's Square for his beatification May 1?
Ramona Băluțescu, a journalist who writes from Romania and was part of the "Church Up Close" program I attended in Rome last September, took that photo and posted it on Facebook today. When another colleague commented that it made her sad to see the image crumpled on the street, Ramona offered a surprising and beautiful perspective on what she saw through her viewfinder in Rome that day:
"I took this photo since it moved me a lot. But... An image is as a coin; it has a face and also a story and not always does the story say what the face is showing. Newspapers look this way since people slept on them... They wanted to be there and more than being read, these newspapers helped them to get through the night. It was cold and rainy. Our Pope JP2 would have been happy to know that so many people went there for him and that he was able to give confort even as a photo on a newspaper, while they were trying to sleep on the streets, in cold weather, waiting for the big day!"
Things often aren't as they seem. One person's trash is another person's blanket or bed. Thank you, Ramona, for reminding us that we sometimes need to look below the surface to find the beauty in the world around us.