Louis Daguerre is noted as the inventor of the daguerreotype process which first made photography a viable art form in 1839. Within months, his camera and photographic process was taken to various historic sites around the world: Greece, the Middle East, Africa, and Central and South America. Daguerreotype photos were created of the pyramids and other amazing sites, but an unusual thing was soon noted. None of the pictures revealed any people in them. There had been people milling about at these sites, but they didn't show up on the photographs. It was a confounding mystery!
|Here is a picture Daguerre took of the busy street in Paris outside his window.
He had learned that it took 30 minutes on a sunny day for the chemical process to set the image onto the photo, but as much as 60 minutes on a cloudy day. Once his Parisian picture was set, sure enough, there were no people in view. Even though, with his own eyes, he had seen all sorts of people milling about, walking here and there, busy with city street activities. Then he noticed one gentleman. See the picture below and you'll spot him too.
He's the fellow getting his boot shined on a bootblack-box, which caused him to stand still for about a half-an-hour. Long enough for the daguerreotype process to capture him. The mystery was solved. Objects had to be fixed and in place in order to actually make an impression.
That's kind of a cool history lesson, but it is also instructive for us with our own Christian faith. In order to truly leave an impression with the love we have to share, the faith we have to show, and the ministry we have to give - we need to show up! Not just fly by. Not just whiz by barely making an imprint or impression. No, we need to be there, spending time with each other, reaching out to that neighbor or that person in need. And it takes time; it cannot be done too quickly. The more quality time we have to share with each other, the deeper the chance for the relationship to take hold. I think of the couple of times I've taken a turn serving food at Our Saviour's Shelter. You can just serve food, and never make eye contact with the homeless guests, and never say a word to them. You are, of course, still providing some helpful assistance. But the real joy comes from the interactions, the laughing, the joking around, or the conversation you enter into, learning more about the people you meet - that is where the more valuable experience is to be found.
Don't you think that's true of so many of our ministry efforts. When we engage, when we are invested and involved, when we are committed - then we start feeling the deeper aspects of discipleship. That is stewardship, too. When we make our commitments, we make an impression upon our church, and we let our fellow brothers and sisters make an impression upon us. Over the past three weeks, we've heard passages from 1 John 4 in our worship services. That chapter ends with this admonition for us to care and care deeply. From verse 21: "The commandment we have from the Lord is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also."
See you at church.
~ Pr. Josh
A FEW ANNOUNCEMENTS
* Reminder to wear red to church this coming Sunday, Oct. 28 in honor of the Reformation.