Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Greatest Gift

I was raised in a large homeschooling family, and among my siblings I witnessed many different forms or expressions of artistry and creativity–my older sister can play just about any instrument within minutes of picking it up for the first time and also happens to be a prodigy when armed with a paintbrush or pencil. My older brother is a computer genius, my younger brother is very intelligent and gifted in mechanical things, my younger sister has the voice of an angel–and the list goes on.
For years I struggled to see in me what I saw in them nearly every day: A gift. A passion. Talent.
I felt as if somehow I'd been "skipped in the gift distribution factory in heaven." I cried over the issue and poured my heart out to God time and time again. I wasn't particularly smart, certainly didn't feel creative, and wasn't demonstrating any special talent or ability, unlike my siblings.
Then, by God's grace I was introduced to a medium altogether unfamiliar to me, but one which soon had me enthralled with its possibilities: the camera.
Not an expensive one, but a simple, cheap camera. My parents, and really everyone I believe, was shocked. Technical particulars aside, I began composing images which expressed creativity and imagination. I surprised myself!
People started noticing. After years of playing around with a cheap camera which was intended to be used for simple snapshots, a kind neighbor and another observant friend gave me two more "point-and-shoot" cameras. Then one day a friend who'd received a nicer camera as a gift offered me the use of his camera until I could save up enough to purchase my own. Armed with this camera I joined a photography group. At the group I met other photographers who offered their assistance, and one even offered me a position in her business as an assistant. I accepted the help, but declined the position. I did not even own a camera suitable for the position! Before I was able to save up the necessary amount, however, my sister purchased for me the camera I'd been saving for and gave it to me as a gift.
Photography has become more than simply an outlet for creativity. It has become my passion! I face new challenges with every shoot, and make many mistakes, but I'm overwhelmed with gratitude to my Lord for revealing in HIS time the gifts that He'd assigned me.

I believe that even the simplest photographs can tell a story. Whether it is expressed through a tear in a subject's eye, the beauty of a rose or the innocence of a sleeping babe, photography presents the potential to bring glory to the Divine Designer and Author of creativity. It has the potential to bring awareness to the needs of the world, and to inspire the passive and indifferent life to one of passion and enterprise.

I encourage you who are reading this to consider this truth: Just because you've not discovered your gifts, or are not yet aware of them, does not mean that you have none, or will never discover them. God in His perfect timing, will reveal them to you. He does not ask you to serve Him with everything you think you don't have, but with what you know you do. And as you serve, you might just be amazed with the gifts you see emerge in your life. We ourselves do not deserve credit for the gifts we possess, but the Creator–whose Spirit within gives us the ability to do wonderful things and to express true creativity–is the One deserving of all glory and honor. But truly, the greatest gift to be received is the presence of the Spirit of God within our hearts. If you have not yet received this gift, I urge you to accept!

              ~Victoria Christine