By Rae Barnes
God has given me many gifts in my life. Some gifts were only used for certain phases of my life, but one gift has been with me for over two-thirds of my life. My love for photography began in middle school. By high school, I was in the darkroom every chance I could get, and my art teacher set me on a path to gain a scholarship for photography. That scholarship ended up guiding me on a path to become a professional photographer shortly after college graduation, even though I had no intention of doing so. It’s funny how God works that way.
The Greek origin of the word “photography” is literally translated as “drawing with light.” A photographic image cannot be made without light, and an excellent image must have excellent light. Thus, while I was growing in my photographic skills, I had to learn HOW to see light. I became (and continue to become) a light seeker. I am constantly evaluating it, even when I do not have a camera in my hand. Almost always, I am looking at what the light is doing.
There is a parallel to my walk with Christ in this, but it took me MANY years to see it in my work as a photographer and my life as a Christ follower. As believers, we all need to become “light seekers.” It takes practice and dedication to see and evaluate the complexities of light, but if you look for the Light, it is there. Just as your camera cannot take a clear picture without enough light, so our hearts need more light to be able to fully love the way Christ does.
John 1:5 says, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” Light always wins over darkness. That is the reality I know when I seek light for my photography, but this is also the hope I have in Christ.