I have no words for last week. None that are adequate, anyway.
The week started with higher-than-normal work stress that was then far eclipsed by political unrest, violence, stunned disbelief, then grief. And, I’ll admit to a little bit of fear to go along with it all.
My husband is my best friend. He can look at me and know what I am feeling. No words have to be spoken. So, last week, he took a long look at me and then suggested “we” go take photos at church. Of lights. In the dark. He had suggested the idea a few days before, but I had put him off.
OK, challenge accepted.
My camera’s superpower is it simply captures all my attention. When I have my camera in my hands, my worries fade away as I focus on working out the puzzle of how to capture what my heart sees through the lens.
I had no idea where to start, so I just started taking photos, trying different apertures and compositions. Peace replaced worry. It was more than the challenge of trying to take photos in the dark, though. It was the fact I was in my Father’s house that gave me peace.
As I looked out at the pews, I saw my husband sitting there, keeping me company, in the quiet candlelit sanctuary. I imagined the generations of His people who have occupied those pews before us. I thought about the Hymns that have been sung, the Prayers that have been offered, the Creeds that have been spoken, the Forgiveness that has been proclaimed, the tears and laughter that have been shared.
As I bowed before the altar, then photographed the eternal flame, the Christ Candle and the Christmas tree, I thought about Him. I thought about Jesus who is my Shepherd and my Warrior, the Light of the World.
“The Lord is my light and my salvation- whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life- of whom shall I be afraid? Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.Of David Psalm 27:1-2, 14 (NIV)
In his great love and mercy, Jesus laid down his life for me, for you, for the world. All who believe have crossed over from death to life. He has done everything needed to protect and save us from sin, death, and the devil. He offers comfort and his peace, which truly does surpass all understanding. He herds us away from things that may harm us. He disciplines when necessary. When we are lost, he finds us and takes us back. When we hurt, he carries us close to his heart.
“He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart.”The Prophet Isaiah. Isaiah 40:11a (NIV)
In the end, I’m not sure I was able to capture what my heart saw through the lens, but perhaps I found the words that I needed to hear.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”The Lord, Joshua 1:9 (NIV)