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I am not a professional photographer

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True fact:

By Nancy Kennedy

True fact: I am not a professional photographer.
Another true fact: I am in desperate need of — something.
As I write this I’m sitting in a park pavilion early on a Saturday morning. I’m supposed to be taking photos of a kids’ triathlon for the newspaper, but right now, as the littlest kids are in the pool and on their bikes and running their little legs off, I’m NOT taking their pictures.
Recently, I bought a jazzy new camera, a red one, with a zoomy lens.
With our limited news staff, we reporters are taking more photos these days, which is fun as long as the pictures turn out usable and not terrible.
But right now as I write this I’m not even taking “not terrible” pictures of cute kids. Instead, I’m sitting on a bench in a park pavilion.
With a dead camera battery.
If I were a professional photographer or even someone not in desperate need of something, I would have checked the night before to see if my battery was charged.
But lately, I’ve been going, going, going, too preoccupied to notice things like dying batteries — mine as well as my camera’s.
Yesterday, driving home from work, I was behind my husband’s car, thinking about something, not paying attention, going too fast.
He made a quick turn to get away from the idiot moron driver behind him driving on his tail. Later he told me he was horrified to discover that the idiot moron driver was his own wife.
Last night I dreamed I was crying. I dreamed I was in desperate need of something, and that made me cry. I forgot about it as soon as I woke up and just grabbed my camera bag and raced out the door.
But right now I’m not racing anywhere. Instead, I’m sitting on a bench in a park pavilion next to an electrical outlet, charging my battery, my camera’s and my own.
I had actually gone to the pool earlier with my jazzy red camera and took two photos. After that, the camera battery died and I panicked, which is what I often do when I finally discover I’m out of juice and realize I can’t continue.
So, I packed up my gear and walked all over the park, looking for a place to recharge. By the time I found the pavilion I was sweaty and ready for — something.
Once I plugged my battery charger into the electrical outlet, that’s when the thought struck me: Now what do I do? It’s probably going to take at least an hour for the green light on the battery charger to stop blinking, and I don’t have a book with me to read or even my phone to play with.
Heck, I can’t even play with my jazzy red camera and take practice shots of the squirrels running up the trees.
All I can do is sit while I recharge.
So, here I sit.
Off in the distance I can hear kids, but mostly all I hear is quiet — and the whispering voice of God saying things like: “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls” (Matthew 11:28, Amplified Bible).
I hear him saying, “He maketh me lie down in green pastures. He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul” (Psalm 23:2-3). I feel myself quieting down, straining to hear more of his voice.
Sometimes God makes us lie down. He forces us to rest so he can restore our souls.
Right now, that’s all I can do, sit here in the quiet while my camera battery recharges.
While God rechargeth me.
I realize it’s been a long, long time. Too long, and I’ve been in desperate need of this.
People say everything happens for a reason.
My friend recently told me about getting a flat tire, and after a series of annoying, irritating events trying to get it fixed he learned that had his tire not been flat he would have been at the exact spot of a massive multi-car accident at the exact time it happened. God spared him from that.
My camera battery dying isn’t even a fraction as dramatic, but I believe God knew I desperately needed something; my soul needed an hour away from everything but him, a slight, cool breeze blowing, with nothing to distract me so he can make me rest. The photos will wait. I’ll get what I need, as soon as I get what I need right now.
Nancy Kennedy is the author of “Move Over, Victoria - I Know the Real Secret,” “Girl on a Swing,” and her latest book, “Lipstick Grace.” She can be reached at 352-564-2927, Monday through Thursday, or via email at nkennedy@chronicleonline.com.