Days like today my journaling and blogging blur lines. What I've written in my journal transfers over to this blog, and here I continue to wrestle with the idea or concept I've stumbled onto.
Right now I'm reading a book called Why Photography Matters. My brother-in-law saw me with it a few weeks back and asked if I was trying to convince myself or something else? Something else. The author, Jerry L. Thompson, writes richly about the truth of photography. As my spiritual director says, all truth is God's truth - so I'm less surprised when I stumble upon a profound insight that reaches far beyond my camera and lens.
Today I felt Jesus calling me to revisit a passage I read yesterday, or the day before. It seemed the prose was not quite done with me yet. Thompson, here, is talking about the famous photographer Walker Evans (a favorite of mine) and how his message or vision was indeterminate:
"Evans brings [humble] things to our attention. He doesn't tell us what to think about them." (76)
Thompson then goes on to explore the idea of reflection he finds in Evans' work - that masterful artists merely hold up a mirror in which we see our own reflection. And when we critique art without this awareness that were are really critiquing our own projections and reflections, we confuse the meaning of the art for our own understanding of it. We judge ourselves.
Being in the first half of my Kickstarter project for visual-devotional photo cards, which act as a guide through understanding what we are gazing at, I've had to practice my "elevator pitch" over and over. And each time, wonderfully and oddly enough, I come back to how important it is for us to examine "humble things," as Thompson says, that our own hearts might be revealed to us. Reflected not so that we might admire, for many this rarely happens if we are honest, but so that might might be true - and in truth receive love. Love received elsewhere is a poor substitute.
There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love. (1 John 4:18, The Message)
What?!?!? It's true. This morning I clicked "launch" on my Kickstarter campaign for my upcoming project for visual devotional photography cards.
A huge thank you to those of you who've already backed our project today - THANK YOU!
I'm asking if you will partner with me in creating this transformative tool for helping people connect more deeply with themselves and with God through their senses? I believe this tool will change lives as people engage with it and see more fully how beloved of God they are in their true selves. If you'd like to back this project, just click the here or orange box below. If the budget isn't funded in 30-days, your money will be refunded. If we meet, or exceed, the budget the money will be transferred over and I'll get right to work!
I said yes to blogging today. Earlier I said yes to a week-long vacation near Yosemite. Last night I said yes to two more portrait clients.
As I was journaling this morning, frustrated by my recent meeting with my bathroom scale, out stumbled several needs I've been neglecting like my apartment, my body, and my soul. Then it hit me: I simply didn't have time or space to say yes to myself when I was saying yes to so many other good things.
And that's the catch - so many of the things I've said yes to are so good. But in the back of my mind I know there's a greater good that I'm being invited to say yes to (it has a lot to do with a previous post).
So how am I seduced to say yes to other good things ("distractions"), when I've been invited on such a wonderful adventure with Jesus? I'm scared. What if I go on my big adventure and fail, returning home with nothing to show for it? So much like Peter from the BIble I get all excited and over-confident and proclaim my dedication to the better invitation before me, luckily I haven't bodily maimed anyone yet, but after all the plans have been made and the bags are packed I get scared. I wonder what I've gotten myself into.
And then Jesus asks: Do you love me? In a defensive reply, "Of course I do." So he asks again, like he did this morning. But this time I realize there's a question beneath the question, and it's: Do you trust me?
I could go on about how true love begets trust, and how the love I have so often experienced hasn't begotten trust, and how that makes it difficult to say yes to Jesus' grand invitation to me - and those would be true words and experiences. But today I feel like they would simply be my way of distracting myself from the question before me: Do I trust Jesus? If I do, then I have an adventure before me that doesn't include saying yes to many things, just one.