Some days feel something like transcendent. The living world wakens in a soft glow, slow moving sunshine warming a new day before me, and before I can even speak, my eyes are swimming in floods of beauty.
Life around me seems so distracted; the hustle is rowdy and relentless. And the temptation to go along with the rush is strong, but in the earliest part of the day I still have this purity. Like I can still see. And what I see isn’t just good, it’s magnificent. In that sober place, I remember I wasn’t created to merely notice the magnificence of life– I was created to absorb it– enjoy it– and share it. God has made it unmistakably clear that part of my identity is to be a conduit of his good light.
It wasn’t long after I recognized this calling, that I started looking for something, anything, to help me magnify what I see. It didn’t take long to realize there is a very real darkness that tries to compete with this light God has put before me, and as a lover of the light, this reality bothered me. So, I decided to go to war with darkness. In search of eternal truth and beauty and purity of mind, it all started with a journal. Today, my drawers are stuffed with diaries that hold confessions and fears and dreams. I often go back and revisit the past, and cannot believe the countless ways Jesus has helped me cope and commune with Him through writing. A blank page is a special space we share– a soft place to learn what being “a child of the light” means.
See, identity is tricky. I have felt the weight of many lies: insufficient/unloveable/unworthy/… you name it. A lot of those words tried to sneak in and name me, and the enemy made real big attempts to justify these words with abandonment. When I was nine years old my dad suddenly passed away, and whether my dad chose to leave me or not, I felt alone. He, the one who once called me Whitney Darling, was gone in the blink of an eye, a click of the phone. It was unfair. Comfort was stolen from me. My heart couldn’t grasp the pain of the world. Life seemed to thieve me from what I thought I could hold onto forever.
Ever since, I’ve been trying to make sense of time, cherishing what’s still here, these good and precious and very real moments in front of us. Being a child of the light means being grateful, being honest, pursuing truth, practicing self-denial, admitting my faults, protecting what’s good, receiving the grace of Jesus Christ. I knew that I was supposed to not just see these things, or to speak of them, but live these things– to practice, if only in part, what one day we will be in whole.
The task is great in size and significance. But a camera seemed to pair itself well with a journal; very well, indeed. What words couldn’t describe, the camera could. What a camera couldn’t capture, my thoughts would explain. I realized that photography isn’t an accessory in story-telling, it is fundamental. Good photography can awaken the eyes and opened eyes can speak to the heart! I decided to pour myself, my mind, my time, and my money into learning the trade of photography. A sacred perspective was already given to me– now it was my turn to embrace the gift– study the technical, seek the opportunities. So I did. And now, here I am. Camera and journal and journey and soul– living it out.
I understand it’s not always convenient to document these days, these people, these details you love so much. Sometimes it takes an outside perspective– someone who will slow down the train and help you see all the pretty things that tell your story. That’s what I love to do, what it is I’d love to do for you. This isn’t a fad- a fleeting personal passion. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a rush of wonder dancing through my veins. I want to share the gift with you! I want to tell your story well.
In ecstasy I reach for it, and like handfuls of glitter I throw it all upward. These earthly glimpses of heaven I see are but a fraction of the Kingdom coming. This kingdom is where all of the beauty and truth and goodness are harvested. The king of this Kingdom is Jesus, who wants to breathe new life into every single storyline under the sun.
Darling, I have found truth and in the truth I have found life. Let me share the light with you.