Friday, November 30, 2012

Worldly Holiness

Andrew Larsen publishes a beautiful calendar featuring his own amazing photographs. Check it out: 

Read more about Andy's work here.

Andy writes, "I wanted to share a little more with my readers this week an explanation to a short reference I made last week about "visual peacemaking." Its no mystery to most that I love photography. It's even become a "spiritual discipline" for me. What's that all about you say? I've had the wonderful opportunity to begin to talk with groups about photography as a spiritual discipline, but in two different, though related ways. Photography has become both an inward, as well as an outward spiritual activity. Call it part of my growing expression of a spiritual discipline that has become like two sides to the same coin.

"The inward may be obvious. Photography helps refresh me in my journey. Doing work with my camera, sizing up a landscape, noticing nuances of light, pattern and color help ground me in God's amazing and faithful presence in my life. The grace of this activity shows up in renewed hope and perspective, in good times and bad, irrespective of my success or failure. In fact it helps pull me out of my self absorption and consider God's sufficiency, for all the pieces of my life. The Psalms, especially verses like psalm 19:1-2 often swirl around in my heart when taking pictures.

"The second movement, outward, is also a spiritual discipline. I think that if this second movement is missed, the former movement inward for me is empty, if not incomplete. The greater purpose for living God's way in this world is missed. I become spiritually fat and happy, if that, in my own self contentment. This is where my photography is slowly maturing into an outward expression of this spiritual discipline, corresponding to the inward movement as well. And this is where I believe visual peacemaking is emerging as a manifestation of this second movement for me.

"I've found photography as an incredible tool in building bridges between cultures and people, helping me tell stories back and forth across a divide that normally is posted with a huge "NO TRESPASSING" sign. In a world where divisions seem to be growing and prejudices hardening, I'm finding this work of visual peacemaking critical. One example is this picture below from Hebron, where I served for 3 months last year. Tour groups that visit the Holy Land are often told not to go to Hebron. Its dangerous. The people are to be feared. Its a shame because the truth is so far from this caricature. My time in this Palestinian, and Muslim majority context, was rich with friendships, conversations, great food and many positive experiences. By the way, this year's calendar, Wordly Holiness, features some of these people that I met. But since I know most folks like beautiful landscapes, the majority of the larger featured photos each month are of my award winning landscapes. But the people also show up in little thumbnails throughout the pages."
[Read more here]


See Ann's other blog - A Texas Lutheran's Voice for Peace:

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