A Clearer Picture

by Phyllis Bourque

I recently read an internet article entitled, “Lenses shield 9/11 photogs as they capture history.” It questioned how those who photographed the event could bear to keep working in the face of such tragedy. One photographer said that his lens acts as a filter, that “the things are happening over there, on the other side.” Another was quoted as saying, “I let the camera absorb all the disaster or the sadness of an event. It protects ME from the event.” The article noted that these photographers knew only what was happening right before their eyes…not realizing the bigger picture of what was going on.

While I wasn’t there in person, I was there emotionally, owing to the very graphic portrayal through hundreds of photos and videos available on the internet. I was there–falling from the building, choking on the ashen dust, gasping for life! Watching such tragedies in the news takes a toll on me…

As I read the accounts of these photographers, I began to think about the constant barrage of news articles, photos and videos of human suffering all around the world due to wars, tsunamis, flooding, drought, famine, etc., every day more death and destruction, helplessness and despair! Add to this, the stressors in my personal life, and I had to ask myself, how I can bear to watch news that is always bad? I know that these things are prophesied, and I know they will get worse, but how can I have a balanced approach to being aware of world events without allowing it to hover like a dark cloud over each day?

The short answer is, God. But in what way, personally, for me? I found the answer to be in communicating with God–reading the Bible, talking with Him, and using His Holy Spirit within me to help me deal with this life. I found the answer to be in paying attention to the messages delivered by God’s ministers through sermons, the StandingWatch programs, the published booklets, and the weekly update, to help me correlate the issues of life with what God says. And I found the answer to be in fellowshipping with God’s people, who are of the same Spirit, so that we can all encourage each other in times of distress. God has given me all of these resources so that I can live a balanced life in an unbalanced world.

I see then, that focusing my “lens” on the greater plan and purpose God is working out on this earth, gives me a clearer picture of what it all means. From this viewpoint, I feel motivated to continue to move forward in my conversion, using God’s Spirit to overcome personal faults and weaknesses, to become better prepared for what lies ahead, both in this life, and the next.

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