My name is Sally Coleman and I am a Methodist Presbyter serving Wesley Hall and Walkley Ebenezer Churches in Sheffield. I am a keen walker and photographer and often use my camera in prayer and meditation, because photography calls me to slow down and notice things. If I need to think and pray I often get out for a walk, taking my camera means that I cease to turn over the issues that have been concerning me in my mind, and lifts me out of myself calling me to notice details that I might otherwise miss.
As I walk I slow down, and as I notice details I might have missed otherwise I begin to open to God, quite literally I am lifted out of myself and given a new perspective. From close-up shots of a flower or water droplet to an expansive view.
I believe that the Psalmist captures something of what I am talking about, in Psalm 18, when I become bogged down with troubles I find God through the lens of my camera, and am brought out into a spacious place.
He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
he drew me out of deep waters.
He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from my foes, who were too strong for me.
They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
but the Lord was my support.
He brought me out into a spacious place;
he rescued me because he delighted in me.
(Psalm 18: 16-19)
Photography is my spacious place, through it I find the Spirit at work, drawing me out of the deep waters or troubles, the things that are concerning me, and into a place where I can see and hear more clearly. Very often I can return to my life and work both energised and at peace. So, I am simply going to offer you some images to pray with.
Look at the colours, the interplay between light and shadow, ponder the perspective, is this a close-up or a wide-open vista. How might the Spirit be speaking to you through this picture? As you consider these images I pray that you will encounter something of the way my camera has become a tool in my prayer life, and if nothing else it might encourage you to stop and admire a view in our fast-paced world.