I’ve always fancied myself a candid photographer. Oftentimes when I show up for work armed with my trusty camera and a huge cup of coffee, many groans and unsuccessful attempts to hide take place. I’m the ninja photographer of social media, quietly and unobtrusively taking photos of people when they least expect (or appreciate it). I’m just doing my job, and I love doing it. A few quick shots of what we do and why it matters is all I ever really need so that I can showcase those things for our local community to see.
Sadly not everyone wants to cooperate with getting their picture taken. So much of our lives now are publicly visible through social media, heavily filtered, edited and censored to only show us at our best. We’re okay with it so long as we have control over what is shown and who can see it. But we don’t always have control.
We want to put forth the best possible image at all times, stone-face serious about our jobs because it’s important to take it seriously, right? Of course there’s also a good chance that the boss is going to see them too. Who wants to be caught in a less than productive moment sharing a joke with a co-worker, snarfing a salty vending machine snack and reading a magazine, or sneaking out for a smoke when it’s not break time? No one wants that. If only they’d had advance notice, maybe they’d have been prepared. Perhaps they would have planned ahead, put forth a little extra effort, been a little more proactive, a little more confident that when a photo was taken, that it would show them at their best.
I’ve began sorting the people I photograph into groups much like the Hogwarts Sorting Hat.
Group A – The people who are ashamed or embarrassed to have their pictures taken and try unsuccessfully hide from me.
Group B – The people who put on a show of working fastidiously while watching out of the corner of their eye to see if I’ve noticed, knowing as soon as I walk away they can slack off again.
Group C – The people who pretend I’m not there (because I can’t possibly take their picture if they don’t acknowledge my presence, right? HAA!)
Group D – The people who greet me like an old friend, smooth the wrinkles from hard work out of their uniforms, put a smile on and roll with it trusting me to do my job.
I bet you can guess who my favorite group is, group D. Open hearted and willing to show me who they are on any given day at any given moment, knowing that they are flawed and imperfect but having faith that through my lens and a gentle bit of photoshop, the image of them will look perfect.Imagine for a moment that life is the job. God is your boss. Jesus is your photographer, here to capture these moments of your life to share in the kingdom of heaven. You don’t know when He’s going to show up, but when He does, how are you going to behave? Will you try unsuccessfully to hide from Him in shame? Will you put on a show of hard work hoping He notices, knowing full well that you are going to slack off the moment you think He isn’t paying attention? Will you pretend He doesn’t exist, thinking that if you don’t acknowledge Him that He won’t see you?
Or will you greet Him like an old friend, humbly show Him your flawed and less than perfect self, smile and let Him do the work that he came to do trusting that the end result will be His perfected version of you.
At the end of my work day, my trusty camera is packed away, the memory card cleared, photoshop is closed, I toss away my empty venti cup and I go on with my own daily tasks with maybe one nearly perfected image of a single moment in time from an entire day’s work.
Jesus never packs His camera away, tosses an empty cup in the bin and calls it a day. Indeed, He never stops photographing us. Every moment, every heartbeat, every breath we take, He is there to see it, capture it. He is working to perfect us in our flawed hearts, not just our image. Even when we hide, even when we put on our vain show for Him, even when we pretend He isn’t there. For every moment of our lives, we need to trust in His efforts for the perfection of our hearts, and relinquish our flawed control over the image we have of ourselves. Trust that His eyes see us more clearly than we will ever see ourselves.
Melody Evans is Social Media Manager for a family of healthcare companies, and a freelance photographer and book review blogger for Up All Night Novels. When she’s not hopelessly attempting to improve her lackluster video gaming skills or forgoing sleep in the endless pursuit of literary satisfaction, she can often be found diligently glued to her keyboard, seeking new outlets to express her love of all things geek chic.
Melody currently resides in Mansfield Ohio, where she enjoys spending time with her family and pets, exploring new places, dabbling in holistic medicine and attempting to maintain a healthy lifestyle.