This morning, as I was finishing my breakfast of leftover chocolate cake, I happened to catch a glimpse of the vivid orange sky outside my window. Leaving the dirty plate and fork on the counter, I quickly changed into jeans, threw on my coat, grabbed the camera, and headed outside. The beautiful sunrise ended up drawing me to the fields not far from our apartment, but before I had reached my destination, I received the dreaded message from the camera: “Battery Depleted.” This did a sufficient job of reminding me of my forgetfulness, as I left in such a hurry that I didn’t bring the camera case that contains a spare set of batteries. I decided to enjoy the walk and the view with my own eyes; I could still appreciate the beauty without taking any pictures. In a spark of inspiration I remembered that the camera still has power for a few seconds after being turned off and then on again. Employing this technique, I managed to take some pictures to share with you, though I fear I missed capturing the best of the sunrise. It’s clear that I need to learn a bit more about taking pictures of the sun and the sky, but I opine my little excursion resulted in a handful of pretty pictures nonetheless. The surprisingly successful ones I’ve posted are the work of God’s creativity and skill, not mine. As I arrived back at the front door of the apartment building, the clouds above started to sprinkle. I didn’t get wet, nor did the camera, and that I also owe to God.
My birthday was yesterday. It was the best birthday ever. I remember when I thought that 17 was be the coolest age. My dad was right; I think each year has and will just keep getting better. That eases the anxiety of “aging,” though that time when I anticipated 17 with all my heart and thought that 20 was too distant to imagine seems not very long ago. I’ll not fear the passing of time, though. I’d rather savor it–like we savored this Devil’s Food White-Out Cake!
There are certain subjects that I never would have thought I would take an interest in. There are others that, though perhaps I had a good supply of desire, I lacked the skills to pursue. Photography is just such a subject. When I met my husband, I was both intrigued by and jealous of his passion and skill for the art of capturing images, moments, and emotions on film. Now that we are married, I have the benefit of learning from one of the best photographers I know. First, I learn by watching him take pictures. Most of what you see on this blog are his excellent photos. He also gives me patient and loving instruction on how to use his camera; it is a joy to be entrusted with his knowledge and experience as I am utterly hopeless on my own when it comes to anything mechanical. But the most important lesson in photography I have gained from Sam is how to observe. His eyes are wide open all the time. For as long as I have known him, he has been able to see beauty in anything and everything. He daily thanks God for all that he sees–the inherent beauty of a tree, the functional and aesthetic value of a building, the endlessly unique personality of a human face–and acknowledges that everything is due to God’s creativity; all is a tribute to God’s glory. The ability he has to see these things is yet another gift from God, and a wonder in itself. This is why he seeks to capture pictures of the things that he sees and the events he experiences. He has influenced me to truly look at the evident glory of God that is before my eyes at any given moment. He has taught me to take the time to photograph that which I see as a product of God’s vast creativity and abundant grace. He has helped me to understand that my photos are only imperfect images of the originals. Furthermore, those originals, as marvelous as they are, are still flawed and fallen versions of the initial creations, which are mere reflections of the full glory and blinding awesomeness of their Creator. Try to imagine that as you look at my most recent attempts at photography.