“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork”.
“Nature Is God’s First Missionary”. I heard Max Lucado say that back in the 90’s and it has stuck with me ever since. I didn’t always know that I wanted to be a landscape/nature photographer, but I have always thrived by being in the outdoors. Whether it was on my dogsled in the dead of winter deep in the forest, with snow piled on the pine branches 2 feet deep, or walking in the lush, green woods of Kentucky after a long day in an office, the one thing that has remained is that my soul literally comes alive when I’m in the middle of nature.
Prior to marrying Keith I was working in the mortgage division of Fifth Third Bank in Louisville, Kentucky. It was a particularly busy time that saw us working 10 – 12 hours a day and it didn’t leave a lot of time for my hour long walk in the woods alone. Finally, after a week away, I was able to carve out time and get back there. It was like oxygen being flooded into my body, and my soul skipped a beat.
My Christian views have really grown and evolved over the years. My dearest friend and I often talk about the Christian Mystics of generations past, and although I’m not going to even remotely go to the place where I think that there’s a spirit in every tree or twig, I will confidently say that when I sneak away into nature that the Spirit surrounds me, every tree, and every twig.
Keith and I lead workshops to Banff National Park in Canada once a year and I get so excited about that workshop more than any other because I know with confidence that by spending that much time in the wilderness, my soul will be revived and I’ll come home a little different from when I left. Spending time in the Presence of the Holy Spirit always changes you.
Perhaps this is my reason for becoming a nature photographer. This could also be the reason that I crave and need to be out hiking or away from the chaos of the city. There’s no doubt that God meets me in the mornings with my quiet time right here at home, but there’s just something special about getting out (even if it’s just for a walk), listening to the sounds of nature, turning some Christian music onto my iPhone, and entering into worship.
I highly recommend it. You should try it sometime: With or without a camera.