Remember my word for the year?
Yes, I have it. No, I don’t know how to photograph it.
Last month’s prompt from Ali Edwards’ workshop focused on capturing your word through the lens of your camera. I loved the examples that she shared about her word (which is “light”) and both the literal and figurative representations. Christmas lights, a shadow on the wall, sun streaming through a window, her running shoes (she is working on being lighter and running more lightly). Interesting, creative, authentic.
As I have thought and watched and hunted for a way to capture my word over the last six weeks, I have found myself wanting something different. Something better. Something more true to what I feel faith is. I could take a photo of prayer or the church or the scriptures. All of those things certainly represent faith for me. But for some reason I have hesitated. They seem so ordinary or overdone or….something.
Luckily, spring has started to show itself out the window of my home office. I love crocuses. They are the first color after the gray skies of winter. Their thin green leaves poke their way through the semi-frozen soil (and often a layer of snow) with determination. They are tiny. The first autumn after we moved in, I planted three patches of crocuses in my front yard – one patch for me to see as I drive to and fro and two patches for me to look at every time I pass the window. I gasp with delight as the first green centimeters come up and again when the flowers start to bloom. I find myself pausing to open the shutters just right so I can see them more clearly.
This year, Cole is old enough to get a day-by-day exploration of the growth and it does my heart good when he points to all the new shoots saying, “Green!” I think faith is the color green. We plant something not knowing if our efforts will be rewarded but believing that something beautiful and healthy will find its way above ground. Sounds a little like life, doesn’t it? Having faith that our hard work to overcome challenges, to be kind to others, to live positively and all the other good stuff will help us rise to the surface?
So, here is my first photo representing faith. I’m working on more – Cole will certainly be included in the bunch and definitely something that represents my religion. But I’m not sure how they will be captured quite yet. I might even include a photo or two from the past that I feel are a true reflection of my personal faith. Maybe some from those times in my life that I have exercised faith, trusted completely in something bigger than me and realized faith’s empowering qualities.
I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that this has become so difficult for me. Isn’t this precisely what faith is? Something intangible yet real. Invisible yet so clear when we see its reward. Something fleeting yet powerful. Faith is a belief in something. A feeling. A conviction of hope. Of course it would be difficult to translate that into something as two-dimensional as a sheet of photo paper.
Here’s to capturing faith. Not only in my heart and mind but on my camera, too.