[dropcap]H[/dropcap]ow many photograph's do you have in your home? Hanging on your wall? In picture frames spread throughout your rooms? I don't think I have ever really pondered the question myself until returning to Russia.
At work, I have photos pinned to my cubicle walls. We have pictures hanging throughout the buildings. We frame them for the world to see, and yet do we really stop and consider the value of that photograph?
I know its kind of odd to consider, especially since I am blogging and photographing my way through Europe. We have pictures of the ones we love in our homes, on our office desks, in our houses of worship. We use photography to capture moments that otherwise would take many words to explain.
Now…what if I asked you to take every photograph in your home, your office, or church down? How difficult would that be? Could you live without your photographs? Sometimes photographs are the only connection we have to our friends and family.
I am discovering in Russia that people don't line their walls with photographs. You don't see pictures of their family, their ministry or their friends. Their homes are filled with simplicity. Here…photographs are a luxury. The cost to print and frame a photograph is costly. They have photographs, but they live on their computer.
In the orphanage in St. Petersburg, the walls are lined with art that is probably done by the kids that live here. Photographs of kids faces cropped close and shadow boxed for effect are in each of the rooms. The dining room has pictures of children who walk these halls. This is a rarity.
In each of the places I have been thus far, the Lord has laid it upon my heart to capture a moment for a family or a church. He has also expanded my vision of what He wants me to do with that photo. It is not merely to sit on a computer, put on the web or frame for my own personal enjoyment, but rather it is something to be shared with the family. Many of the church planter pictures as well as others that we encounter on this trip will find their way back to the families as a framed photograph so that they have a little snapshot of this moment in time.
I have the privilege of seeing their faces. The way they light up as you ask to take a family picture. They get dressed up, putting on their Sunday best. They do their hair and makeup. For them…this is a big deal. I am not much of a portrait photographer, but I am learning quickly that this is part of my ministry here, and I am so excited about it.
May we not take for granted the gift of a photograph.
[alert type=”muted” close=”true” heading=””] This post was originally written in 2011 when I returned from a missions trip to Russia and Eastern Europe.[/alert]
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