Have you ever stared at yourself in the mirror trying to see if you can find traces of Jesus? 

I have. And I've done it enough to have found myself peering at a number of different faces over the years, days, hours...minutes.  

I shuffle through them, like a deck of cards; holding on to the hope that somewhere in there, The Ace--my only ever-un-changing-Thing--is waiting patiently to be found...or more accurately: seen. Staring back at me. 

It takes faith to keep hoping. But it takes courage to keep daring to look once again into that mirror. Knowing I must face whatever else might also be found behind my eyes. Or streaming down my cheeks.

I collect the faces of these moments, like memory stones. 

As a missional artist, I am hoping someone may find one familiar.

 Familiar enough that, in the midst of whatever moment that person finds themselves, the curtain of isolation would lift... 

Just enough. To let some Light in.

How I Feel Most Days

Life isn't fair...and it definitely isn't easy. There is a great interlude by The Ambassador, entitled, "Theology of Bokenness" [prelude to a great song, simply called, "The Cost"] that sums up what the "Authentic Life" of a Christian tends to feel like, regardless of the way it may look on the outside. 

I feel picked on. I feel entangled in endless snares and devices... I feel like the target of a relentless sabotage.

 I feel the knot of constant frustration heavy and writhing somewhere deep in me. I can feel its constant weight in the pit of my stomach...  So much so, that it can feel like the only remedy for relieving the pressure that builds inside my head...would be to put a bullet through it...

Or in this case, a tennis ball.

Little Puddle of Light

This was one of my first self portraits. Our professor had challenged us to create something to describe "who you are" more than what we looked like.

This was how I was feeling at the a fading blanky. 

One the men in my life {brothers, friends, boyfriends, insert category here...} took comfort in holding onto for the faint beam of Light I brought into their darkened worlds. 

But it was always only enough of a glow to keep their complacency comfortable...keep them only "slightly-less-than-satisfied" about their present existence...never truly agitated by their dark surroundings enough to go seeking the Source of my Light for themselves.

I want to thank my little bro-ham, David, for being willing to face this point of pain with me. It was harder--and more healing--than I expected. 

The Relief of When {He Speaks."

Some days, out of the middle of the grind, the clouds part for a moment. The curtain lifts, and the God I've been shaking my fist at...speaks to me. In Love. 

It becomes immediately evident that He's been right there, in every moment. He's been there giving off just enough light to keep the shadows from dipping to pure black. He's been burning and dodging; as needed.

 I am able to pull back. To see the entire spread of moments, seasons, images...of faces. 

And I realize. He has been the One behind the camera...all along.

He has been writing my story; my fiercely raw metamorphosis, frame by frame. Not out of some loop-hole of pre-destination; but because "He is the author and finisher of my faith". {Hebrews 12:2} 

My little, struggling, relentlessly "un-ditchable" faith... There is no camera to fully capture what He alone has witnessed and been a part of concerning me...or this harrowing journey of faith. 

...It's hard not to live only for those moments. Where I am able to see just a bit more than I do from day-to-day in my "mirror dimly".  {1 Corinthians 13:12}

But, it is is often said, that a darkroom is where negatives are developed into a positive picture. And inevitably the darkness returns to finish its mysterious  work.

Tell me if you can relate.

Or if you would like to. I am always looking for people willing to collaboratively explore what's possible when we let art articulate those indescribable parts of ourselves....and the stories which have helped to shape us.