The Stories behind the Photograph

Part two of the writers’ meeting was about picking a photograph that speaks to us and we were invited to write what we feel about the photograph and look at the spiritual connection.

A picture can paint a thousand words and meaning and it is able to bring out certain memories too. The photograph that I choose was of an elderly lady handing out art cards to young children, and the lady was explaining to the children about the art cards.

The photograph spoke to me in these different areas:

Abstract Art- These were in the form of the art cards. I am not that good in art but I like to find out the story behind the art such as ” Why did the artist paint the art in a certain way? ” or ” Why does the artist paint the picture with different colours?” I wanted to know the story, just like how people search for God, for their purpose in life. Sometimes, God is already right in front of us but we do not see him as we are blinded by our own concerns. God to me is the artist, and he is also always ready to forgive us by identifying our sins. He will help us correct them, similar to when an artist re-draws a picture so that it looks better and it can increase the net value. God will save us and help us when there seems to be no solution or way left.  God is great, all the time!

The Children-They reminded me of my time in Indonesia and Philippines when we distributed second hand clothing and spent time with the less fortunate, especially the children. They were not wearing shoes and we interacted with them by playing games with them and taking photographs with them which they enjoyed. Despite being poor and having no electricity, they were happy with what they have. The majority were Catholics so it was touching and inspiring to see them having faith and  being able to trust God. God sends us to help them without hesitation and to bring them some joy.

Looking back on my childhood, I think as a child, I wanted to grow up faster but now I realise that being a child is more fun and less stressful. The reason would be that children are untouched by the worldly influences and they have that sense of innocence. However, we must remember that even though we have grown up, we are still dear children of God and that he will welcome us into his open arms for comfort, guidance and mercy.

The Elderly Lady- The lady in the photograph reminded me of my late grandmother and also my own mother . They are two important people in my life as they have taught me right and wrong and given me their advice. At times, I take them for granted and fail to obey them. However, they are still patient in accepting me back, answering my doubts in life and guiding me on the right path. The elderly lady in the photograph can be seen answering the children’s question patiently which reminds me of Jesus, our Teacher. Both my grandmother and mother are teachers in bringing me up and molding me in terms of morals and character-building so that I am the person I am today. I am thankful for their guidance as without them, I could be worse or things would turn out differently.

The workshop was fun. I liked writing what comes to our mind and that nobody judges our writings. Everyone was very happy to share and I am sure that by listening to the sharings, they went away with something that they could take-away. Surely they can better understand what writing means to them.

I would like to thank Josephine and the people who attended the workshop by making it an experience to find God through writing. I hope that more meetings like these could be organised. Some of the sharings also resonates with me and I found them to be really meaningful. Photography and writing also compliments each other as it brings out the meaning of the story. I will pray that through writing, we can do so much more.

God Bless! It would be good if  we can take our writings further through writing projects for the church.

Written By: Darren Chan Keng Leong

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One thought on “The Stories behind the Photograph

  1. It is interesting how we see the same picture but interpret differently. The American lady in the photo is a volunteer with the Jesuits in Chiangmai and she takes photos, turns them into cards and raises funds for the poor. Glad you enjoyed the session!

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