Friday, August 28, 2015

What I Learned from Flawed and Imperfect Photos

At the start of June I attended and photographed a Holy Yoga retreat, which I wrote about here. When it was over, I promised the attendees I would soon post photos on Facebook for them to view. I delayed that promise almost three months.

Confession: I dragged my feet about posting the retreat photos because I saw flaws and imperfections. They are blurry. Grainy. Crooked. Disorderly. Misframed. The color balance is off. There are lots of technical issues, and the photographer in me sees them and challenges myself to improve. But I posted them anyway, because I promised! (And I begged for grace, knowing I had lots of moments of low light with two pro cameras and a phone camera that each have different settings and limitations!)

The day I finally posted the photos, I sat on my couch after a particularly grueling morning battle with Jackson before the school bus arrived. My heart was ravaged from his daily war with me, and I was so irritated with him that I couldn’t even unfold my fingers to hand the situation to God.

I ended up on Facebook because I wanted to post the photos from the last day of retreat. I started organizing the photos and looked again at every single one. Click by click and beat by beat, my heart stopped hammering from anger and slipped back into my Daddy's rhythm. My breath slowed and I could tangibly feel the peace and the rest I experienced in the room where we gathered for retreat. My frustrations were crowded out from the front of the line as memories cut into the queue and my eyes were filled with holy images.IMGP5431-2IMGP5434IMGP5455-2IMGP5513IMGP5515-2IMGP5530

Imperfect, yes. Flawed, yes. Technically terrible, yes (some!). But this is where the holy intersects the horrors of daily life: when I see imperfections magnified, I'm humbled at how my best can't even pretend to measure up to True Perfection. When I am confronted with Grace, I know crooked and disorderly are simply toeholds God uses to climb the rock wall around my heart. When I consider the blessing of getting to capture moments of pure surrender, I remember the reason for the blur in the photos is because God's Beloveds were moving their bodies to worship Him.

The air in my house remained lightly scented by the morning shakedown, but thankfully the rot wasn't so pungent anymore. I still don't have an answer to those battles, but I don't expect a quick fix anyway. As much as I would love it, there is no PhotoShop for eight year old boys. I don't have enough editing software in the world to fix the flaws and blurs - the ones from this morning, the ones in the photos, or the ones in my heart.

I'm okay with that now, and I'm resting in Daddy's arms today.

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