Ok, so each week I visit Blessed School (a school / community for disabled people in Beirut) and spend time with the students and staff. Since I’m now taking photography classes to hone my skills, a new project I’ve decided to invest in is taking artistic photos of the students and staff.
Sure, I’ve got loads of great photos of the Blessed kids from my four years with them—pics snapped in the moment.
There are pieces to our story, and our humanity, that require more attention and effort for us to see in their authenticity. That’s what I’m enjoying about learning the craft of photography. Investing time. Choosing to listen for the story.
Some of these shots come immediately–these kids are warm and interesting and complex in the ways that all people are. Some of these shots take time–for some of the kids with more extreme challenges and mannerisms, I have needed to simply be with the child and wait for a moment of peace.
Spending time with kids with disabilities is a wonderful thing, and going that extra piece of choosing to listen for that person’s story, choosing to see that person’s unique humanity——well, that is a choice that is richly rewarded.
One of the things I love about Blessed School—the Director, Linda Macktaby, and the whole staff—is that they take the humanity of the students seriously. The students, who are limited in certain ways, are nonetheless treated as three-dimensional people with ideas and gifts and preferences. When I walk the halls at Blessed, I always get the sense that the teachers truly KNOW and respect the students.
That’s one of the things I’ve always appreciated about Luke’s Gospel. In it are vivid portraits of real-life people, loving attention to human detail. You can tell that Luke loves people and sees people, and what Luke loves about Jesus is His unique heart—God’s heart—that sees and loves others unlike anyone else we have ever known.
To know that Jesus sees you, YOU, and embraces those human parts of you—the beautiful and the not-so-much—that is the reality of God’s heart, God’s eye.
That is how you are seen.