One by One

Teardrop petals fall one by one…

I enjoyed making this photo yesterday…the styling, the shooting, the editing. Today though a metaphor emerged, coming from a sadness I didn’t know was there. It’s a sadness at injustice and evil, at the Message Signed with Blood to the Nation of the Cross, at events a world away which suddenly became very personal. After all, I claim the name of Christ so I too am of the nation of the cross.

Other voices have spoken much more eloquently than I ever could, but I too must speak.

I will speak of 21.
21 whose crime was faith, whose sentence was a gruesome death.
21 fallen, one by one.
21 walked to the beach by their captors, 21 forced to kneel in the sand.
21 with time to consider their families, friends, spouses, children, before the end.
And what of those 21 families…what anguish must they feel?

Why does God let this happen?!!

He answers with His own Message Signed with Blood to the nations of the world…the blood of Jesus, drops spilled one by one to save and restore.

 “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.” (John 3:16-18, The Message)

“God sacrificed Jesus on the altar of the world to clear that world of sin. Having faith in him sets us in the clear. God decided on this course of action in full view of the public—to set the world in the clear with himself through the sacrifice of Jesus, finally taking care of the sins he had so patiently endured. This is not only clear, but it’s now—this is current history! God sets things right.” (Romans 3:25-26, The Message)

And what is God’s message to the 21…to their families?  He says, “I will set things right.” In the end evil will be vanquished, and these 21 overcomers will be avenged.

Come quickly Lord Jesus.

brenda

 

Little Red Tin Cup

Do you see it? Isn’t it gorgeous?! I found this most perfectly imperfect little red tin cup at our local antique mall this week. I also found its companions, the vintage valentines and little red edged hanky, which are lovely too.

Oh, but that cup. So battered and rusty, I imagine it’s had quite the life. Now it gets to retire to my shelf with many prop friends, only working the odd job here and there helping me make art. What a deal!

And the metaphors are abundant. I could go on about its battered beauty or how what it’s surrounded by makes a difference, but I’ll save that for another time. Today I’m just glad the little red tin cup came home with me.

Grace,
brenda

Never Too Far

Any Jason Castro fans reading this? He made top four on American Idol in 2008. He was a favorite of mine then, and still is today. I have some of his music on my personal “hope-full” playlist (what, you don’t have one of those? you should definitely get one).

Anyway, I’ve had his song Wait for a Miracle on repeat since Monday morning and I’m alternating between tears and joy every time it plays, but it’s soooo good!

To think…I’m never too far from a miracle. My circumstances, my feelings…

my heart

can change in an instant.

Such HOPE!

I’ve embedded the song below if you wanna hear what I’m talking about.

Grace,
brenda

Still Beautiful in the Light

Dried and worn, brittle and torn…still beautiful in the light.

As I styled this vignette, I had no idea it would become a metaphor. I simply had an assignment prompt from my still life instructor, Kim Klassen…top-down floral, shallow depth of field. I made my prop choices and set to work making my photos as the sunrise came through the window.

No, the metaphor would come later. As I edited the shoot, choosing a dark and moody theme, bringing some of the detail back into the spent blossoms, I was struck by how how fragile and broken they were…just like me as I struggle with depression. Yet, even though their former beauty was gone, there was a beauty that remained.

Just like me?

It feels really awkward to refer to myself as beautiful, so bear with me. This place is difficult at best, and terribly dark at worst, and yes, I am in counseling. Sometimes I really do feel spent and brittle, with very little to give to others. Service is my beauty…without it I feel unlovely.

But my little roses tell me otherwise. Jesus is my light, and in His light is my beauty. The little I can give now is just as beautiful as the much I used to be able to give.

Even if I’m dried and worn, brittle and torn, I’m still beautiful in His light.

Grace,
brenda

Grace is Enough

Why can’t I change? Why won’t God step in and do it for me?

Do you ever feel this way? I sure do. But we’re certainly not the first to wrestle with these questions. Paul, an apostle of Jesus and ancient writer of the New Testament, fought the same battle:

“I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.  I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me?”

Can you feel Paul’s frustration? I can…I have.

But that’s not his only problem. Paul also had some sort of infirmity and begged God to fix it, but He said no. Instead, God said, “My grace is enough; it’s all you need.”

In the original language, the word for grace is charis, meaning good will, loving-kindness, favor. I imagine God’s heart behind those eight simple words goes something like this…

Though I say no, My good will toward you has not changed.
Though I will not, know that My loving-kindness is still at work.
And though you cannot, you always are my favorite.
My grace is enough.

Grace,
brenda


References: Romans 7:17-252 Corinthians 12:7-9

Much to Hope

As this is blog attempt #5 (#6 if you count my Xanga days), to say I am relying on hope at this moment is a bit of an understatement. My track record of stops and starts doesn’t bode well for blogging success again this time. Still, I desire a place play with my photography friends, sharing images and words of encouragement and hope, and a bit of my heart as well.

If you’d like to know a little bit more about me, please check out the About bekearns page.

Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by. We have much to hope, you know.

Grace,
brenda