You May Call Me “The Traveling Freak”
Please note: I’ve been writing this blog since September. This is a direct result of many hours of conversation within and input from my community as well as time spent with children in Capricorn Park… It’s not complete, but only the beginning.
Quote of the day: “If an individual assumes the risk of placing himself in the middle of a war in order to communicate to the rest of the world what is happening; he is trying to negotiate for peace.” – James Nachtway, War Photographer
The more I dig deeper into injustice issues, the more I find these issues lay within my own heart. My own judgments, idols, prejudices, selfish behavior and violence cloud my mind and darken my heart.
The tension between “the rich & the poor”, black & white”, “the educated & the uneducated”, “the living & the dieing” constantly surround me. Society pushes me to participate in the ongoing labeling game that builds walls of separation.
It’s scary to be confronted with this truth because it gives me two options:
1. Face the dirty reality of my own heart and change
2. Pretend it doesn’t exist and continue living, knowing anything I do will not make a damn difference
I am no different than you, than them. For centuries, “The System” has divided humanity; but only through recognizing and embracing our differences and uniting in our common brokenness and the same struggle of living in a world of tension can we truly express the beauty of His Kingdom.
We, as humanity, have a responsibility to serve and love each other, not to pity the other’s circumstances – Can I really say my way of life is better than yours?
My calling is the same as your calling, their calling – “Go into all the world” – and while I go into the entire world, the entire world is coming to me. I am not called to say my way of life will deliver people from poverty, cure them of HIV/AIDS, or get them a job. My service will not save them but my servant hood will bless and God’s love will give true life. I give, not out of guilt or pity, but out of responsibility towards my brothers and sisters in need.
This reality will change lives and it’s this reality, expressed through those I meet, that continue to change my life.
It’s because of this revelation that I want people to look at my pictures and not take pity but see beyond the “need” and share in the common brokenness and the desperate need of God’s love with the subject. For the viewer to question whom REALLY is “poor” and who REALLY is “rich” – “The one in the photo or myself?”
“I have been a witness, and these pictures are my testimony. The events I have recorded should not be forgotten and must not be repeated.” – James Nachtway