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photography

Seeing rather than looking…

This week I had the great pleasure of a quiet day to contemplate the last month of ministry and refocus for the month ahead. I read an excellent book called Spirituality and Photography. I was struck by two things. 


Firstly that we are to be catchers of the light – to bring attention to the divine light of God in the darkness of our world. 


Secondly we need to see rather than just look. Ritcher describes the difference as knowing what you are looking for but being more open to possiblies when you are seeing. The way the light falls in this leaf seems to be to be an allusion of the pain endured during the crucifixion to me – I was only able to see this when I was open to the possibilities. 


The photographer’s obsession with light is similar to my passion to bring light into the darkest places as a deacon…


…to bring hope to people in their darkest hours. 


That light might take a variety of forms…


…like taking time to fully see someone…


…or to be with them as the sun sets, reassuring them that it will rise again!

Be catchers of light this week!

Discomfort

This has been a week of discomfort in various ways for me and others in parish at times. Last Saturday our churches clubbed together with the local social club to put on a Community Fun Day. It was really well attended, and in many ways a success, but it really took a number of people out of their comfort zones as it was held at the social club – a place most parishioners had never entered before – rather than at church. It is so important though for us as Christians to go out into the world and look for what God is already doing, and find out how we can join in! There was face-painting, a bouncy castle and other activities for children: children really help to build bridges between people who may struggle to see what they have in common and feel uncomfortable with one another!

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In the evening we had music from a local Blues Band, and whilst it was not something that the regulars were used to, it was wonderful to see how music began to bring people together in appreciation and conversation – truly amazing! It even took the regulars out of their comfort zone as they listened to “Singing Vicars!”

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Bank Holiday was an opportunity for a day out with my camera to Belvoir Castle. It was a lovely day and there were a number of great photography opportunities, but as I tried to get a photo of a butterfly I was struck by my own discomfort as I held my breath to get as close as possible so as not to scare the butterfly, but also their discomfort as something huge got closer and closer…I haven’t really thought before how wildlife being photographed might make sense of the experience!

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Despite the joys of a bonus Bank Holiday, my days have been busy and it has been past 3 o’clock on more than one occasion before I realised I had not eaten lunch or had anything to drink since the morning. Failing to take care of our basic needs can bring its own sense of discomfort.

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It was my birthday this week, which was lovely, but which is also something I prefer to spend fairly quietly as I do not like the attention it can bring. All the same sharing a birthday cake is something I love!

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Real discomfort came on the evening of my birthday when I tried out a birthday gift – a coffee grinder! I was so excited by it that I even read the instructions so as not to get anything wrong. True to form though, I missed the crucial instruction which said not to overfill the coffee grinder and tipped a whole packet of beans in. This meant that some of the beans got jammed by the weight and the grinder was unable to turn…it then overheated. The discomfort which comes when you have potentially ruined a gift given to you is indescribable! Fortunately when it had cooled down the next day and I followed all of the instructions, all was well.

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Towards the end of the week I went to visit someone I had met in parish whilst walking. As I knocked on their door I had no idea what to expect, and was a little nervous. I remain even more uncomfortable about not managing to see this person as there was no answer….

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Perhaps the greatest feeling of discomfort came at Leicester Pride where clergy and members of some of the churches in the diocese gathered together to be a Christian presence at Pride. These two aspects of my identity do not always sit well in either Christian communities or LGBT communities. The discomfort of ‘coming out’ as the other in either setting is something I have been thinking about as I wrote The WardrobeIt was a real privilege to offer reassurances to people who had been so hurt by people of faith because of who they were, how they had been made and created and who they fell in love with. There is still much work to be done in this vein as ILGA details much better than I could. Even so, stepping out and making yourself uncomfortable every now and again to meet the other can be such a valuable step towards each of us better understanding our fellow human beings – all of whom are created in the perfect and beautiful image of God.

 

Leadership 

‪#593 #day11 of #lentchallenge with @bible_society #leadership as #photography where the photographer has to keep an eye on the #vision, and ensure that it is well #communicated to all involved for perfect execution.

Healing Spaces

Photography as prayer

#402 #day20 of placement was my #dayoff and the day where I went to choose my #birthdaypresent…my #photographicreflections can now also benefit from this fabulous #dslrnikon. Over the past year I’ve tried to see #God in the everyday, and #photography has become a #formofprayer. Today then, a #prayerofthanks for the many #gifts we have and are given, for our loved ones and for our freedom to do as we please with these people and gifts. May those who have lost hope find it again through someone who cares, through their gifts of time and friendship, and through sharing food, drink and fellowship. Amen. 

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