All I wanted was a great photograph.
I was exploring the coastal island on a rental bike, my camera bag in its wire basket, when I rode past a setting that captivated my attention. I made a U-turn and parked the bike on the side of the road. As I stepped off the bike, took out my camera, and gazed across the street, I seemed to melt into the serenity of the scene.
From a thick, gnarled trunk of an old oak, adorned with Spanish moss that dangled like tinsel off a Christmas tree, hung a rope swing. A perfectly, peacefully still, swing.
Snap! Ah, the moment captured.
Now to try another photo with a different camera setting, and another and another, until I’ve tried all the settings. Then to move around and try to capture this perfect scene from different angles…
Oh no! Kids. On bikes.
I lowered my camera and waited for them to pass. I smiled at them. They smiled back and said, “hi.” I waited for them to pass so I can get on with finding another perfect shot of this peaceful scene.
What!? No! What are they doing? Stopping!? By the swing?
Ugh! My perfect setting, ruined! They hopped off their bikes and onto the peacefully still swing. Then laughter, and voices, and, “hey, I want a turn!”
My selfishness immobilised me, momentarily. But then their joy overwhelmed me as a truth revealed itself: I was interrupted by the innocence of childhood.
Jesus said, “let the children come, and do not stop them!” It was a rebuke to the disciples who didn’t want to be bothered by the noise, or mess, or hassle of little people who turn peaceful situations into distractions.
I heard an entire sermon preached into my spirit during those brief minutes I stood and watched them playing freely and purely. To think, like the disciples, I initially spurned their presence.
“People who are like them belong to the Kingdom of God,” continued Jesus. Hearts, uncomplicated and pure. Life, without burdens and cares. Trust, absolute.
Truths have not been twisted and perversions have not pervaded.
It is how you and I should live, made possible only when we, like children, run to Jesus Christ without letting anything or anyone stop us. To be innocent, once again. To have perfect peace…with God.
All I wanted was a great photograph. I ended up with that, and more.
The last photograph available for purchase as digital download. Click the photo to order via my Etsy store. Tax-deductible receipt given upon request. Proceeds help me as I prepare to accompany an Ohio missions team to Hungary.