It was a restless night.
I tossed and turned, going over and over in my mind why the blog I had spent all day writing was just not working.
It was dead. Lifeless. Gray. Like what would greet me when I finally got up and parted my bedroom curtains.
Slipping from my bed, I debated...leave the lace curtains closed and keep hope alive, or part them and look upon another dreary winter's day.
And the brush pile. A product of last summer's cleanup, we had never taken the time to burn it and rid our yard of its eyesore.
It sat there. Day after day. Mocking me every morning. Ugly. Unfinished. Unnecessary.
And my blog.
As I parted the curtains, I prayed...Oh Lord, don't let me slip. I need life, your Life. All I hunger and thirst for on the outside, is only what I desperately need on the inside-- You.
And then I saw it.
No, not it, them. Lots of them. Birds, everywhere, flitting in and out of the brush pile, perching, resting, scavenging. And color! The scarlet red of the Cardinals, the vivid deep blue and rust of a pair of Bluebirds, the bold stripes and polka dots of Sparrows and Thrushes.
Life and color in the ugliness.
As I stood there, mesmerized, I felt a whispering in my soul..."It's always there, you just have to see it."
And then I thought of my camera. And all it was teaching me as a budding photographer.
Over and over my instructors keep reminding me, "Good pictures begin in your mind. The camera is only a box that records what you already see." Up here, pointing to their heads.
Good pictures begin in the mind.
You can have the most expensive camera equipment in the world but ultimately the quality of your pictures will always depend on what you are seeing in your mind.
Lately, I have been seeing darkness. Darkness in our world. In winter. In myself.
But just as light plays a vital role in photography, the Light of the World is the only One who will allow us to see...correctly. I must walk in the Light as He is in it.
My vision has been out of focus. Just putting a great lens on a camera doesn't mean you'll get a good picture...you have to know how to use it. At times when I feel like giving up on humanity, or even myself, I need to look through the lens of God's Word and allow Him to refocus me to see what He sees.
One of the reasons I am studying photography is to draw near to God. To see Him in this world, in His Creation. And then share that with others. That is my desire.
But first I need to learn what it takes to turn out a good picture.
Yes, I will need equipment, and training, and years and years of practice.
But what I need most is the ability to see. In my mind. Clearly.
And that is what I need most in my life also. To see with His eyes. To focus on what He sees, and then allow Him to adjust my life accordingly.
I want to be a camera in His hands...in the hands of Someone who knows what they are doing.
And then my life will be a picture to all of who God is, and what He can do....the hope and the beauty and life that come from a relationship with Him.
Now that will be a glorious picture!