Wednesday, April 20, 2011

"To See Beauty"

This past Christmas I received my absolute favorite Christmas present of my entire life: a Canon Rebel XS. My first camera that's not just point and shoot. I'm definitely not a professional photographer or even close to it, but I've always enjoyed taking pictures.

For a while though, I wanted a really nice camera for one specific reason: to make simple, overlooked objects beautiful. To draw attention to them and bring out beautiful details in them that may always go unnoticed. I also wanted a camera that would enable me to capture moments of fun, pure joy, excitement, simplicity, and love, in the most exquisite way. I'm not exactly sure where this desire came from, but I knew I really wanted this.

Since I got my camera about 4 months ago, she (I named her Ella) rarely leaves my side. Since day 1, I took pictures of my family on Christmas morning, my older sister's dog (which may not be the cutest dog to the untrained eye :)), Christmas ornaments, coffee mugs, etc. I've taken her around campus and captured students sitting on benches, lightposts, sunsets, holding hands...

While I am fully aware that I'm not the greatest photographer, taking these pictures has opened my eyes to so much. I feel as though we (especially as Christians) are constantly reminded of what a terrible and dark place the world is; and yes, at times it is. We are depraved human beings. Capturing moments though of a laughing baby, a student reading on a bench, or the changing fall leaves has just reminded me that God's creation is beautiful. He has created us "fearfully and wonderfully", and too often I forget to see and encourage that in others. It's reminded me to praise Him for creating beauty.

More so than reminding me of His beauty...I think of why I wanted a camera in the first place. To make simple, maybe not necessarily beautiful objects, appear beautiful and noticeable and radiant. I took a picture once of a plain, old rod iron fence...and with the right settings and editing, the fence looked gorgeous, unique, vintage, classy. I have so been reminded of the verse in Ecclesiastes that says "He makes everything beautiful in His time". I think of how sinful, dirty, and unworthy we as humans are but how God's redemptive love for us washes us clean and makes us radiant. I think of how certain life circumstances can be so brutal, painful, and destructive but how God can make even those situations beautiful in His time.

"You make beautiful things,
You make beautiful things out of the dust.
You make me new
You are making me new"

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