I was at the Leicester Diocesan conference and on the Wednesday afternoon there were lots of different leisure/interest/sporting options for the delegates to choose from.
I chose to go to the photography challenge. The first part of which, was a brief presentation on what makes good and bad photos and some tips to help you improve as a photographer. The second part of the session was the challenge to take your camera, to go outside and to try to capture an image related to the theme of the conference, which was Jesus’ question to the disciples “Who do you say that I am?”
I was somewhat daunted by this challenge and so, in the first instance, I decided to ignore what I had been asked to do and instead go and try to photograph some amazing ornamental thistles that I had noticed growing in the gardens.
Having just bought a new bridge camera I spent the first few minutes taking pictures which, when I looked at them on the camera screen, were all totally underexposed! I quickly switched the camera from Manual to Idiot (Automatic!) mode and things improved.
However in the few minutes I had been taking these photographs I had totally failed to notice that the thistles were completely buzzing with bees.
I had been seeing without observing.
These bees were really busy working away on the thistles, and I had been completely oblivious to their presence and their activity.
Just as I became aware of this I saw three bees alight on the thistle in front of me and managed to fire off a few shots on the three of them working together. One of which is reproduced here.
I suddenly realized that image was actually a response to the photographic brief that we had been given – Jesus’ question “Who do you say that I am?”
For the three bees evoked in me the idea of the Trinity – God at work in the thistle of my life.
And yet, as I was oblivious to the frenetic work of the bees before my very eyes, so also, am I often oblivious to what God is doing in me.
It is only when I let God call back my attention, when I make time and space for Him, that He is able to show me His presence and His activity at work in me.