The Photo Journal began as a prayer journal over the summer of 2021 while I worked in Central Oregon. It continues now as a series to be shared.
Observe the photo for a bit, then read the words below. If you’d like to hear it read by me, watch the video below and consider it some more. Or watch first, then read, or watch and read along. It’s for you to experience in your own way.
In a Simple Way July 11, 2021, Sunday
One teenager asked if she could take my picture while she fumbled around her pack looking for the camera, she told me, “you’re really pretty.” I stood by the picnic table with my camera in hand, prepared to take another photo of the teens climbing.
She and I spoke about religion together. She realized earlier in the year that it always interested her but she wished it had been much sooner—she seems to forget everything. Same here kid, same here. I sat down with her at the shaded picnic table. Loving to learn she told me she believes in many gods, especially nature gods, but still unsure. I listened to her as she spoke with uncertainty yet genuine curiosity. She had heard about atheism and thought she might be an atheist. She couldn’t tell. I explained to her the difference between agnostic and atheist. She needed help pronouncing agnostic.
She asked me how I decided on Christianity. She let me tell my story. So I did, in a simple way. She listened intently. It seemed difficult not to try to convince her of anything—I don’t do that, what made it so hard? It felt more like a story about myself rather than God. I felt self-conscious—others might be listening. What made me afraid?
She told me I had a calm and pleasant voice. I smiled. She wanted to keep listening and talking with me. But I had a job to do. Still holding my camera in my hands I stood up to take more photos of the climbers.