"Here, the person looks at themselves differently...as belonging to part of a history, which, whilst narrowly defined by call, covenant and promise, spills out into the wider horizon of the world's marvelous creation and redemption. The 'true' person is always defined in relation to this all-encompassing whole".
It's one of the most satisfying moments for an artist,
when, in my case, a subject looks at an image you have taken of them, and they are genuinely changed in that moment by what they see. They look at themselves differently and, hopefully, they actually 'grow', gaining confidence or confirmation about some choice or quality of themselves (perhaps just the choice to get some photos taken) as a result. It can be a truly special moment to share - I've seen it totally impact upon how some people then chose to engage with and use their creativity and how they have gained so much by so doing.
It is often those 'narrow' moments of such definition that lead us into far larger places of totally fresh engagement. This is splendidly expressed in the recent film, The Warrior's Way, where a small, almost insignificant 'encounter' with a cherry blossom petal totally changes the central character's view of his purpose, and sets him on a course where he will truly learn about love and life in an entirely fresh way.
So often, it seems, that the real issue is our actually encountering such moments, especially when it comes to the more spiritual aspects of our existence.
Jesus spoke of how our inclination is to so often go with the flow, to allow life to almost wash over us as we revel in the apparent freedom of 'broad' living -
broad experience, broad opinion, broad satisfaction, but there's a price-tag attached we can all broadly choose to ignore - the destruction of ourselves.
I've come across cases where photography has been used to make people face up to a often harsh and sometimes brutal reality about themselves, because only when such bruising has transpired can true healing begin.
There is, sadly, an ugliness within us that has to be faced, from which we all have to be rescued, but it's by passing through the narrow place, that moment of our ending, as it were, that we come into the realm of truly living, of losing what we could not hope to hold (or actually profit from) so we gain what we can never loose - life by knowing the maker and sustainer of all that is good and will be renewed in the day of His true revealing.
Like someone seeing themselves afresh for the first time, there is a much deeper, richer life for each of us, bought and paid for in the love of God, revealed in Jesus Christ. It begins with soberly facing some realities. It ends with those realities being made anew - forever.
Time to really see what is there.