March 04, 2010

Some Words About the Pictures

Over the course of publishing this blog, which I've been doing for more than five years, I've learned a few things.  As a result, the blog has evolved over time, and will undoubtedly continue to do so. 

As blogs go, this one does not have a large following, which is fine with me.  I'm not sure how I'd respond if, all of a sudden,  hundreds of people started reading what I write here each week.  As it is, I'm startled when I examine the statistics, and discover (for example) that last week this blog was viewed by people as far away as Europe, South Africa, New Zealand and Brazil.  (Most of them, I tell myself, undoubtedly arrived here by mistake.)  It's also humbling to realize that there are a few people (not related to me) who have been readers of this blog almost since the beginning.  I can't help but wonder:  haven't they grown tired of me yet?

One of the things I've learned is how meaningful it has become, for me at least, to alternate between words and pictures....  The words I wrote last week were meaningful to quite a few people, and as they shared them with friends and family, traffic to the blog nearly doubled.  That, too, is humbling.

The reason I include pictures (I'm starting to realize) is that, as important as words - even words of justice and liberation - are, it is also important to stand back and gaze in awe at the wonder of God's world.  The pictures allow me to do that.  Whether they are pictures of my family, some beautiful natural place, or some stunningly magnificent architecture, each picture provides a break, a rest, in the midst of the words; they offer an opportunity to pause in silence and give thanks for the glory around me.

The routine I'm now in, of posting a picture each Tuesday, has helped train me to keep my mind (and my eyes) open to God's presence in the world around me.  Even when I don't have my camera with me, I will sometimes notice something beautiful, something that makes me pause for a moment in wonder.  It's a blessing to be able to do this in such a fast-paced, cacophonous world.  Every time it happens, I offer up a silent prayer of gratitude ... and wonder why I didn't think to bring my camera along with me.

The responses to some of the words I've written recently have been encouraging.  They have helped me realize that the liberating message of Jesus is too often distorted and/or kept locked away, and that perhaps I and my church are being called to proclaim Christ's gospel of love and reconciliation with greater boldness.  But I also know that to do so without pausing to worship, to gaze with humility in awe and wonder at the beauty in God's world, would be a mistake, and perhaps even a sin.

Enjoy the rest of your week.  Be on the lookout for God's beauty.  I'll be back next Tuesday, with another picture.

No comments: