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FOR TEENS

PAUSING THE SKY

A PHOTO ESSAY

From the June 2, 2008 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel


I just happen to love taking pictures.

Being a photographer makes me feel as if I'm helping to point out all the good things in the world. Taking pictures is so much fun and shows the goodness of everything in a simple way that never gets boring or old.

When I look back at the photographs I've taken, I notice all the qualities they represent. Sometimes I can even see expressions of God through photography.

When I attended a Christian Science summer camp in Colorado, I took pictures that portrayed a lot of different spiritual qualities. After the trip, I looked closely at the photos I'd taken and thought about them. Some showed friendship. Some showed happiness. Some showed peace. They all showed something that made them stand out. There are four shots in particular that I love, and even though they're not the best I've done, I like how they each represent something different.

In my opinion, the FIRST picture, of the trees, shows tranquility. When I see this picture, I think about the peace and serenity of God shown through nature. Where I come from, I'm used to seeing stores, billboards, and advertisements—definitely not many trees. Although nature in this pure form seems far from me where I live, I still look at this picture and see home—a sense of safety and calmness. SKY

The SECOND photo shows water from a lake that looks so still and undisturbed. It's exactly the opposite of hectic and noisy—just silent. This makes me think of something I read in the Bible: "Be still, and know that I am God" (Ps. 46:10). When there are loud sounds around me, I can take a quick peek at that lake and imagine that I hear quiet. A photo like this is kind of an escape—a way to go into my spiritual closet of prayer, as Jesus talked about (see Matt. 6:6).

My THIRD picture shows something simple with a lot of dignity. The little butterfly may seem to be minor, but it's still one of God's flawless creations. God made everything good, including this tiny creature. Its colors and energy express joy. When look at it, I hope that it carries on safely.

I know that heaven is everywhere, and is not a place in the sky. But my FOURTH photo makes it seem like heaven is opening up from the clouds. In a way, it gives me permission to step closer to kindness and expand my relationship with God. I believe this idea symbolizes a sense of heaven. It's fascinating to see those rays of sunlight shine through the clouds. Spectacular! When I first saw that ideal Colorado sky, I immediately ran to get my camera. The view was amazing, and I felt that it was something I had to pass along for others to enjoy. It was almost as if God had whispered to me to capture the photo of the sun, and I felt obligated to obey. It was like putting the sky on "pause." ♦


Michelle is in seventh grade, and, in addition to photography, she loves writings short stories.

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