It was my thing. My therapy. My place to retreat to when I was empty of anything meaningful to give to others, and needed to take in by way of my camera lens what was simple and good again.
I have never had an overwhelming desire to make anything professional out of my photography. I was already receiving all that I wanted from it. The few paid jobs I have done, while certainly enjoyable in their own right, have not given me the same kind of satisfaction that I receive from my spontaneous, quiet, unpressured walks exploring old and new places alike. Perhaps this is partly due to the expectations of other people that come along with paid work. It was wonderful to have something I could do purely for the personal joy I could gain from it.
The thought that came to me out of nowhere one evening was, then, very unexpected. But incredibly compelling. If I were to offer my prints for sale, and give the proceeds to fight child trafficking through ZOE Children’s Homes, an organization that my husband and I know and love deeply…what would happen? What could happen?
I had to give it a test run. I quickly assembled a collection of some of my favorite photos, and posted the album on Facebook with the question, would anyone buy these in order to help fight child trafficking? One by one, the requests began to trickle in with so much support, so much encouragement. This test run is still in a very early stage, but there is already an amount raised that can do a tremendous amount of good in a place where the US dollar can go so much farther than a $4 latte.
Then the temptation came. Keep some of the profit for yourself. The temptation was strong. Do some good with it, but hey, keep some for yourself too. Nothin’ wrong with that. True, there is nothing inherently wrong with that. But I’ve got a full-time job and I’ve got everything I need. Any excess income would just go towards buying more excess. And I don’t need any more excess. These kids at high risk of being sold into the human trafficking market due to the vicious cycle of poverty, however, do need safe shelter. Food. A healthy, loving environment. With Christ as my example of what it looks like to give oneself away in love for those who are broken, I am convicted and therefore making myself publicly accountable that anything I gain from these photography sales must go 100% towards helping others. The love of Christ compels me.
Suddenly, my joy in my photography has multiplied. Tremendously. The vision runs deeper, the purpose is greater. I understand Christ’s words a little bit more now: “For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.”
Edmund Burke once said, “Evil prevails when good men do nothing.” I want to stop doing nothing. I want to do my part, for His glory. I think this could be the beginning of something kind of amazing.