Inspiration from a High School Darkroom

“Jayne, you need to wear something with sleeves . . . or pants . . . or something that isn’t a halter top sundress to pre-school today.”

Today happens to be late March in the Pacific Northwest — and although the calendar says we are 5 days into Spring, I am not convinced, nor is our weather.

Jayne happens to be 4 years old and “loves cold, mommy.”

I actually get it. I’m someone who loves EXTREMES. I tend to exaggerate when telling AMAZING stories . . . There isn’t much in the middle when it comes to me. I’m IN or I am OUT.

One of my favorite things to do is get up early in the morning, get all bundled up, go sit in the crisp northwest air and wait for morning.

I love drinking my hot coffee while my cold hands are warmed by the cup. I love how slowly I have to breathe to get a good, deep breath without feeling the stinging.

More than anything I love watching the light arrive.

Darkness into Light. Contrast. It’s beautiful and powerful.

One of my favorite artists is Photographer, Ansel Adams. He was born in 1902. He captured black and white film of many things, but he is most famous for images of storms in Yosemite National Park.

I was first exposed to his art in high school learning black and white film development. I loved the process of developing and printing images in the darkroom.

I remember when my teacher showed us a particular image of a winter storm clearing in Yosemite Valley. I was stunned by the depth and beauty contained in a one dimensional image . . . the contrast and depth of field drew me in all the right directions as I stared at this single image for countless moments, falling irrevocably in love with art and light and creativity all at once.

Contrast. The darkest black and the brightest white . . . the grays to fill in the gaps of curiosity.

Contrast is halting. We are drawn in by moments that are laid side by side in conflict. It’s why we love political elections and reality shows on TV and why you can’t peel your eyes away from a car crash.

It’s why I love Easter. Not the Easter bunny and far too much chocolate Easter, but the God became human and did everything he possibly could to defeat death – and succeeded Easter.

Light shines brightest in darkness, right? Not totally accurate – but light in darkness gets your attention, doesn’t it? Contrast.

It’s not a coincidence that Jesus raised from the dead with a sunrise.

It had been dark. So, so dark. Hope was not accessible to anyone but the most elite religious people, but even they were unsure.

There was light when Jesus was alive. Beautiful contrast. He brought healing, he thought differently, he offered forgiveness to the unforgivable.

And, then, he was arrested and killed. The light had shined brightly in the darkness, but then it was put out — but the darkness could not extinguish the light of Jesus . . . not for long.

On the third day, the sun rose and our Jesus ROSE TO LIFE . . . bringing light to all – the light of Day, which is brighter than any other light in darkness.

The Day illuminates EVERYTHING. There is no need for any other light than the light of Day.

I don’t want to be in love with just the CONTRAST of Light in Darkness, I want to chase the Light alone. 

This Easter, I am claiming the Power and the Light of the Risen Christ over my community. I’m claiming the power of the Risen Christ over my family, over me . . . That Light will extinguish the Darkness.

The Day is coming when all darkness will cease and only Light will remain. No more uncertain circumstances. No more addiction. No more abuse. No more abandonment. No more loneliness. No more death or sorrow or crying or pain. Light shines brightest surrounded by more Light.

Amen. Let it be So. In the name of the Risen Jesus.

I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!”   Revelation 21:3-5

 

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