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Photo Friday #1

So, in the spirit of becoming a more consistent blogger, I’m starting a new series called “Photo Friday”. Pretty self-explanatory, but each Friday (cross my fingers) I will post a photo and write a little about it. Now, I know a picture is worth a thousand words, but I don’t intend to write that much! I live in such a beautiful, unique place that I hope to share some of the photos I’ve taken and how they have inspired/affected me.

Today’s is the photo you see above. A quick explanation: in a friend’s village, I was shooting some pictures when these two kids ran out of the house behind they, sang and danced down the lane, then walked off into the setting sun together.

This photo reminds me of joy. The pure happiness that exuded from the little girl as she sang at the top of her lungs, skipping and dancing down the worn dirt path. These two children are raised in poverty, evident by the cement block house and connected tin shanty behind them. They live hard lives-oh how I know this from living in an African village for the past 19 months. But despite the hardships and poverty, this little girl finds joy. Happiness. Written on her face for all to see.

She knows no shame, embarrassment, or inhibition, and she isn’t showing off for the camera. She is simply radiating the joy she has inside.

“The people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise.”-Isaiah 43:21 (NIV)

I wish to be as outwardly joyful as this little girl. I too should be singing, praising, leaping in joy for the blessings my Savior pours out on me each and every day. I remember when I was younger, probably around grade 2 or 3, my family always sat in the same row with one of my best friends at church. My friend and I would sing, dance, and twirl throughout the whole worship service, delighting in the beautiful music and finding our own special way to worship. It wasn’t odd to me, and I never remember being embarrassed by my outward enthusiasm. I was just expressing my joy in the best way an overactive child could: with my whole body.

“Let them praise His name with dancing, making melody to Him with tambourine and lyre!”-Psalm 149:3 (ESV)

How I long to be able to give myself over so completely in worship again! Why do we constrict ourselves so tightly when God made us to worship and love Him with every particle of our being? I pray to find the unhindered joy of my little girl self once more, learning to let go and let God.
-Jen

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