When Margaret was in college the first time around, she took a photography class. After that semester, the camera was tucked away in a drawer, presumably, for good. But then she got married.
I’ve always been fascinated by well-shot photos; they come from a tradition of well-told tales. And whether I’m telling a story or consuming one, it’s one of my favorite experiences.
The thing about stories is that they take time; time to tell and time to appreciate. Whether it be a weathered cathedral, a masterful painting, an entrancing photograph, or a rich story, I enjoy taking the time to observe the many details. If I know the story, I try to imagine being there; if I don’t, I try to create one.
My dad asked me, when I was seven years old, “What’s one thing God has blessed you with?” And I replied, “Imagination!”
Some days I find this frustrating and some days I find it life-giving. As wonderful as this world is, God has given me a wonder and longing for an even better world. In a sense I feel like I am appreciating things that will go unnoticed by the rest of the world. Yet, in another sense, I achingly long for the world to come.
There is a tension in which I think all Christians live: to love this world not more than the next, and yet long for the next without missing the present. Chesterton said,
“Can he hate it [this world] enough to change it, and yet love it enough to think it worth changing? Can he look up at it’s colossal good without once feeling acquiescence? Can he look up at its colossal evil without once feeling despair?…Is he enough of a pagan to die for the world, and enough of a Christian to die to it?” (Orthodoxy: Image Books; Doubleday, 2001.)
How we respond comes from our identity. We are here for a reason, and should not lose sight of it for the details. And we are daily being beckoned by the world to come.
We are all telling a story with our lives. What story are you telling with your life? Why are you telling that particular story?
For fun, I’ve included the first roll of photos I took on Margaret’s old camera. I found the manual online and taught myself the mechanics, but I still have a ways to go, when it comes to form. Enjoy!
(remember, it’s not a digital camera and it was my first time shooting, so I had no idea what they were going to look like. play nice)