when we are the church.

It is one thing to go to church. It is another, to be the church.

I had the privilege of photographing the outdoor portion of an event our church puts on each year. We call it Servefest.

On a Sunday morning in September, as early as 9 am, people gather in a line outside the city’s civic center, where we regularly gather for Sunday worship. They come for provision, for blessing. Over 2,500 come.

Free everything.

Clothes, haircuts, manicures, professional family portraits, lunch and sno cones, wellness clinic, prizes, bike repair, live music, a magic show, and carnival activities for children. Free. All of it.

The Bride shows up.

She plays with their kids, fixes their bikes, offers her greatest gifts, her own possessions.

Everyone around was in awe—all those wonders and signs done through the apostles! And all the believers lived in a wonderful harmony, holding everything in common. They sold whatever they owned and pooled their resources so that each person’s need was met.

The camera catches what takes my breath away.

The Church.

The Bride.

She’s so beautiful.

I am struck by the faces I see. Beauty in each one. At first I am shy to take pictures of their faces. I see beauty in their eyes, do they?

May I?

They are quick to smile and I wonder if it has been a long time since someone has asked to take their picture.

His eyes are gems. I show him the shot and say, “beautiful.” He leans in, smiles shyly and steps back. The exchange is over and I walk toward the bike repair to snap these pictures of my father in law.

Do you see they joy? It is good when gifts are used.

I am struck and changed. I’ve been reluctant. Slow to find purpose in these pictures I take.

Give me your eyes, I pray. And He does. He generously gives because He is a good father.

My eyes are His eyes and there is beauty in every face I encounter. I want to snap pictures of all of them. Focus on their eyes and see their story. See the love in their family, pride in their children. My heart falls to my knees and I am humbled and honored to be the camera holder. They might never see my photos,

but they’re changing me…




3 Replies to “when we are the church.”

  1. I am always amazed and blessed and brought back to my knees when I see someone else who sees what I do…. Beauty in the broken. Thanks for sharing…. These resemble the faces I work with each day and I wonder if they know that they bless me more than words can capture. Beautiful, Annie.

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