Recently I stumbled on a new blog called, "Through the Lens of Worship." The idea behind it is to take your camera outdoors and use photography as an act of worship to God. Today, I decided it would be a good time to try it.
Shortly before I headed out to the woods, I received an email from a close family member saying that his cancer was back. Last week had come news that my brother-in-law's cancer was not responding well to medication. And my worry about Ryan deploying increased this week for reasons I won't go into. Yes, it was time for some worship.
Taylor babysat so I could take a walk. I grabbed my camera and off I went. I walked awhile just taking photos of things that caught my eye, praying for my family members and hoping to experience God while I was out there freezing my butt off. Just keepin' it real...
As I walked deeper into the woods, it got darker as the trees blocked the sun. I started talking to God and telling Him that the path I was on in life seemed darker recently, just as the path in the woods was getting darker. I told Him that I was in the valley again. "Look up," I felt Him say. "I am here. If you continue to look at the darkness of the pathway, you will not see Me."
So, I looked up. I'm smart that way.
If you look at the photo, you will see that the path is not illuminated by the sunshine, but if you look up into the treetops, you will see the warm glow of the sun.
I continued to walk slowly, trying to look up without tripping and breaking my ankle on the uneven ground. As I came around a bend, I saw something that quickened my steps.
The sun was dipping closer to the pathway! I instinctively started to pick up my pace and almost run toward the dappled light shining through the trees. I wanted to see if it would touch the path. I wanted to stand in it's warmth.
Sure enough, the light beams touched the path and I was able to stand in them. "Thank you, Jesus," I breathed, "for hugging me with these sunbeams. Then I decided to turn around to see the source of those sunbeams. I saw this:
And I felt loved. Enveloped. Connected to the One who loves me.
The sun was setting and I was getting numb from the cold, so I reluctantly left the spot. The path got dark again and I told God so. And He gently reminded me that life is like that. The path we are on sometimes gets dark and cold. At other times, it is warm and full of light. We go in and out of peaks and valleys. But if we look up, He is always there.
"I lift up my eyes to the hills--where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth." Psalm 121:1, 2