A photographer’s tale

Above the crowd, the holy spirit revived hundreds of pungent, imperfect souls.
Distracted by the assignment to collect more images, I wasn’t counting on communion.
From the stage, I watched her roll up to the make-do altar, the basket of bread resting in her lap.
Fill the frame.
Control the background.
Wait for moments.

Those pesky photography rules often deaden the swell of euphoria aimed at dissolving my rigid desire to control.
I was again reminded of life seen from my mother’s seated view of 30 years.
Her distant voice prompts me to attempt challenges that appear insurmountable.
Her legacy presses me forward in my faith journey.
Her love propels me to venture into safe spaces where my questions are tentative but increasingly bold.
More moments.
More sweat.
More faces.

Dare I step into line?
Shifting the camera onto my hip, I collected a prayer.
A plea to reflect three days of digesting what is shared unreservedly in this shady sanctuary.
Where the river and the rain croon in rhythm during this span of respite and retreat.
The person ahead of me knelt in front of the wheelchair, reminding me to equalize my presence.
My knees settled for an instant in the holy dust.
Her heart met mine at eye level, my mother and Jesus shining through her gaze.
From a stationary perch atop two wheels, a smiling saint offered a morsel representing everlasting life.
This is the body of Christ, broken for you to fill you and energize you to live out the purpose you have been called to.
Hearts levitated as joyful pilgrims whirled and swayed to a chorus of synchronized voices:
I am brave, I am bruised
I am who I’m meant to be, this is me
Look out ’cause here I come

And I’m marching on to the beat I drum
I’m not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is m
This is me.
And in that moment of connection to the divine, that was enough.

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