Taking Pictures of People

I took a lot of pictures on our recent missions trip to New York. We got a couple of sight-seeing days before we hunkered down to business, and my camera got a decent workout. Times Square, Rockefeller Center, views from the Hudson River — I snapped them all. Then we really started missions activities, and the time for standing around taking pictures had past. So I got home several days later and realized something. I had exactly one intentional shot of people.

One of our big goals on this trip was to change our perspective. Our perspective on life in our hometown, our perspective on the rest of the world, our perspective on the people with whom we come into contact. If we want to see people through the eyes of Christ, that has to start with us seeing people. That doesn’t seem like such a foreign concept, especially when you go to a place like New York where there are people everywhere you look. But my habit when trying to record memories of these special events and places has always been to wait until the people were out of the way.

Seeing people has changed my mind. Landscapes and decorations are beautiful — New York’s skyline is just as magnificent as its hype — but I don’t want that to be my only focus any more. I want to record memories of people. They can be just as beautiful, more dynamic and fascinating, and always at the heart of the compassion I seek to give. Even if only mentally, I want to be taking pictures of people.

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