Friday, April 27, 2012

Love Pouring Out

Today was one of those glorious mornings that feeds life into my soul. The life that is necessary to sustain all the mundane activities that occupy my time.
A photo journalist is staying with a friend of mine here in Bogota for a few weeks. His purpose is to accompany the missionaries through their daily lives and record in photograph what their lives are like. From the every-day shopping at the grocery store or market to the ministries they are focusing their lives on.
I want to become a better photographer. I want to move from taking pictures for fun to becoming good and then really good. It's creative. Photography combines color, pattern and texture the same as designing a room or creating a quilt does. But photography goes beyond these other loves of mine to telling a story. A story of a person or a culture. I want to combine pictures with words to tell stories that people back home don't have the opportunity to experience. So I asked if I could tag along on a photo trip this morning. The photographer was wonderful, talking to me about cultural boundaries in different areas of the world and taking pictures. He talked about light and angles and respect of holy time. He talked about capturing a moment between two people that tells a personal story within the larger story of the missionary. Emotions, postures and interactions. I absorbed it all. I'm at the beginning of this journey and learning what I can when given the opportunity.
But I found myself loosing sight of the photography as I watched the people. What I saw was love pouring out. There was love from the missionaries to the people. Love in the greetings. Love in the teaching. Love in the serving. Love was evident through their voice, a gentle touch, a smile or an embrace.
We were at a Sr. Citizen outreach to provide teaching and food for the poor in the area. 50% of the people had a home. They had bathed. Their hair was done. They had taken care in their appearance. But the other half were people from the streets. A man passed by and the aroma about knocked me off my feet. A woman approached and as we kissed in greeting I felt the sticky grease of her cheek brush against mine. T-shirts with holes. Their hair is grey, their faces are weathered.
These people had come for many reasons. To hear the Bible taught - to receive a bag of food - to get a hug, a smile, love. People who are poor have nothing in this world to claim. But sadly their spirits are often as poor as their non-existent bank accounts.
They crave love from humans. The woman who began this ministry slowly walked around the room during the teaching. She stopped at different people and squeezed their shoulders. Placed a hand on their hands. She was touching, comforting, respecting.
I witnessed love in action today and it touched me deeply.  

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