Monthly Archives: January 2015

Photographs Fracture the Soul

It’s eerie to me that so many people take so many photos of themselves with their phones and then post them and pin them, send them and exchange them with so many others in cyberspace. All of this “sharing” and yet the world is lonelier than ever.

And people covet their photos, keeping and editing the ones that highlight what they want highlighted and project what they want projected into the world.

Words, conversation are not apparently enough anymore; photos are better because a photo captures…

So I suppose words are outdated. Perhaps it’s because words worth uttering can sometimes take time to put together and there doesn’t seem to be much patience in the world anymore.

But all these photos, these images, fracture the soul. They leave thousands of tiny images of “us” scattered and stranded in the fiction of time. When we try to integrate this mosaic of images into “ourselves,” we see them for what they really are: nothing but images.

Photos of images made in the image of God, it’s true. But still just images. Not the original. There is no camera or copier that could possibly be constructed that could take an image of the human soul. Such an “image” would mean nothing to our eyes or to any of our other senses because there is nothing material to perceive.

Photos draw us away from our essence and back into the world of forms and images. Which is a place I’d rather be from.

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Love is the Seed

My re-translation of the famous verses from 1 Corinthians 13 (the “Love Chapter”):

Love is patient and kind. It doesn’t envy or boast. Love is not self-seeking; it is not easily angered, keeps no record of past hurts and never delights in seeing others hurt. Love is the truth. It seeks always to trust and protect; it is always hopeful and inspirational. Love cannot fail or pass away unlike everything else in this world of forms. The more we love, the more it grows inside us eventually to perfection. We are taught – starting when we’re children – that love is modestly important in life, but as we grow in wisdom and love, we realize there is nothing more important. In the end, only love, and love’s fruit – trust and hope – remain. (1 Cor. 13:4-13 [my paraphrase]).

The growth of love inside us is mysterious and comparable to a seed. As Jesus is said to have commented: “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.” (Mark 4:26–29.)

Is the Kingdom Jesus spoke of simply love? Could it be appropriately referred to today as the Kingdom of Love?

Could it really be so simple?