For my first post on blogger.com, I thought I would share a little about my philosophical journeys these days.
With fear and trembling, I have been diving deep into my heart to unravel (and learn how to better articulate) my passion for photography. And, like Michael Phelps’ body is perfectly proportioned to make him a super-human swimming machine, I am experiencing great joy in discovering what my “eye” is designed to make me do best…to have those priceless “ah-ha” moments with my role in Christ’s Kingdom.
To be sure, I am committed to making a positive eternal difference with my photography and do not take lightly my artistic calling nor its theological considerations. For example, I am keenly aware of the clash photographic expression has with the aniconism of Abrahamic religions. My photography does not avoid images anymore than Christ avoided the risk of getting a reputation as a glutton, a drunk, a friend of sinners and tax collectors (Luke 7:34).
Yet, of course, Christ was no doormat for those prone to oversimplify and therefore misunderstand (“Let not then your good be evil spoken of”, Romans 14:16). So, let me offer a little more discourse. I certainly do fear and reverence God – but I do so by celebrating the fact that we are created in the image of God (that is certainly cause for celebration!) and that even if we tried, we could never literally diminish NOR increase the power and glory of God by ANYTHING we create (or suppress). Somehow we have to reconcile ourselves to the fact that we “exist under the shadow of something infinitely more important than (ourselves)” (C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory). [And, yes, that is what inspired the name of my company.] How will we respond to that greatness looming over our heads? In all its fullness, I want to acknowledge and appreciate the fact that the REAL thing is the best thing.
Considering God’s position as the ultimate power holder, some feel the need to defend that status against competing external and internal forces (like idols). Call me too humble, but nothing we do impacts God’s state of being – only our perseptions of it. So if, at its roots, idolatry is a threat to uniqueness – our human response can be to fight idolatry by the prohibition of material representations – OR, we can seek to appreciate the wonder and beauty of God’s ulimate and totally unique power by discovering some of the ways in which (don’t know that we’ll ever know why) God Almighty did man the honor of making us in His image. I am a sort of photographic marketer for God…not praising man, but God in man: the true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy things.
By the way, I have just recently initiated a partnership to volunteer for Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep, a non-profit organization that provides portraiture services to families whose babies will never leave the hospital. If you have a family member or friend who could benefit from this organization, please let me know. My contact info is on my Web site at www.ShadowlandsPhotography.com