I learned an important lesson in Bombo this week. I knew it already, but it was a great reminder. It’s been a good week in Uganda, by the way. Some tedious work at times, but lots of fun most of the time. But I digress.
When I travel I just bring my iPhone to take pictures. I should invest in a nice digital camera, but I haven’t yet. This week I took a bunch of pictures in Bombo. They look fine on my computer, but I’m not very patient or creative while taking pictures. And the first couple of days I really didn’t take many so there were few to choose from at the end of the day. And then when I uploaded small files to the website, they really looked terrible. But I was too tired to do much about it. You may have noticed.
After a couple of days, I made one of the best decisions of the trip (so far). We have a professional photographer along with us (Jeff Curtis) who I met in Bombo a few clinics ago. He lives in south Orange County and couldn’t wait to get back to the people of Bombo. So, he joined the team.
So, here’s my decision — or my question to Jeff — hey Jeff, can I give you my iPhone and you take some pictures for me? Of course, he said. Not a problem at all. That evening I posted some pictures to Instagram that made my family proud instead of cringe. So, they knew something was up. But I insisted that my iPhone was used in all the pictures. But they didn’t believe I took them. Really? They were right.
The next night, Jeff uploaded pictures from his camera to a drive and let me have a ton of the pictures that he had taken already this week. And, let me tell you, those pictures were even better. He’s really good, and I hope you are catching the latest pictures each day.
But what did I learn? The difference is not always in the camera — but in the one who controls the camera. Jeff used my very own iPhone and took pictures of a quality I could only dream. My iPhone in his patient, creative, wise hands is what made all the difference in the world. It wasn’t my camera (thought it helped), it was his skill that made the difference.
And that is so true in the Christian life as well. It’s not me that makes the difference (I’m just the camera – the tool). Yes, I need to be the best “camera” I can be, but when I put what I have in the hands of God, He will do amazing things. We just have to let Him. He creates a work of beauty we could only dream of, if we let Him be in control of life. That’s the amazing God we serve. Are we willing to put our whole selves in His hands? He’ll make some pretty pictures if we are.
My next best decision? Stop taking pictures to share, let the professional do it. You may just notice the difference too.