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)