Seeing God in all things
I have taken up a new hobby, photography. I have been taking photos as long as I can remember. First with cameras that needed film (you know, film, negatives, darkroom) and later with digital cameras. I just need a camera that I can point and shoot. I think I have a natural flare for composition but hopeless with focusing. That is why I always tell my wife and children that I need an idiot proof camera- the idiot being me!
I have been writing and making word pictures. I practice and teach others, lectio divina which is spiritual reading. Lectio divina is letting the text speaks to us instead of us analyzing the text. Then it occurs to me; why not let what I see speaks to me. No, I am not in Gaia theory like what the movie Avatar by James Cameron espouse. I believe that God created this world; and this creation is His other book. I think theologians call this General Revelation. The Bible is His special revelation. If this is general revelation, this means I can see the hand of the Creator in his creation. Hence I need to see. Normally I look but do not see. I want to see God in all things. Hence photography. Photography, as I have discovered, is a specific way of seeing. It may be used as a special way of spiritual viewing. I call this lectio visi or spiritual viewing. This specific way of seeing via photography is a spiritual discipline. A spiritual discipline is a habit that draws us closer to God. I always resonate with the Psalmist when he sings “Let the sea resound, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it. Let the rivers clap their hands, let the mountains sing together with joy;” (Ps. 98:7-8).
I bought a dSLR camera a month ago. It is hard work as I forsake my autofocus and take on the work of creating photographs that reflect my Lord. As a well written article or book is a joy, so is a well taken photograph that captures the essence of a person or a landscape. I have also created a website, Faith and Photography <www.alextang.org> which I collaborate with my son-in-law who is a much better photographer than I will ever be. So if you see me coming with my camera, smile and let me capture the joy of the Lord in you.
Soli Deo Gloria