I had the opportunity to experience and photograph “Conversations,” a night of music, drama, & personal reflections on Easter at Reston Bible Church. The whole evening was amazing. I was deeply impacted by the stories people shared and I was reminded why I am a storyteller–a visual storyteller. I too want to impact lives with the stories I tell and this includes my own story.
The dramas and music were fabulous but the real life stories that people shared were so powerful. Real people told a bit of their life’s story and they weren’t the tame and happy stories you often hear at church about how once people came to know Jesus all was great. These were stories of really tough things that they have and are currently living through. One couple shared their journey with their three-year-old son who has a rare disease which has blinded him leaving him almost frightened of physical contact with his parents in the early years of his life. They do not know how much longer he will live, but they count it a blessing to be his parents and have learned to cherish every day with him. Another man shared about his struggles with anger that intensified when he lost his job. His anger escalated to the point where he lost his family for a time and he then shared the story of reconciliation and healing that begun a year-and-a-half ago. I was blown away by their stories and there were more of them too, but one theme really jumped out at me–these people truly knew (and displayed it in their daily lives) that God loved them. The conveyed in different ways how God has sustained them and even given them joy.
You and I might call their circumstances unfair or inconsistent with an all-loving God. But if you told that to any one of these people they would look you directly in the eyes and share about how their relationship with Jesus has transformed this difficult circumstance into something very beautiful–and they would mean it.