I don’t know about you, but I’m a multitasker. And I am always attached to my phone (baby in one hand, phone in the other, a few “uh-huhs” to the three year old). If my phone isn’t within arm’s reach then I’m lost (also when I accidentally sit on it…but we won’t go there).
I was recently homeless as far as computers go, and it was only when my laptop came back from Best Buy’s Geek Squad that I felt comfortable again.
That’s exactly what Framing Faith: From Camera to Pen addresses: our need to be attached to the world via our devices and what we miss when we don’t stop and look around. Matt Knisely, an award-winning photojournalist, describes from his life the effects of being too busy and too worried over everything, and that sounded all too familiar to me.
Knisely doesn’t stop at describing what you’re missing by merely looking through the lens — camera or life with blinders — but his poetic writing portrays the beauty of telling stories and the wonder you will see and experience when you truly connect with the subject of your art.
And not just the stories of others, but your own.
I was surprised at the way Knisely illustrated stories with his words; not only does he tell stories through his breathtaking photographs, but he captures your attention by taking you through the photography process and sharing his story with you. It makes you want to put it all away, look your kids in the eye, and really create stories with them.
Life Through the Eyes of an Artist
In Pursuing Christ, Creating Art, Gary Molander talks about how God created us to create. We are all artists, from the musicians, to the engineer at work, to the stay-at-home-mom who keeps her kids occupied while learning new things each day. Knisely takes this idea and — with photography as his metaphor — depicts how we all have unique gifts and a story.
We are natural storytellers; we are drawn to story like moths to a flame. We invite others to be part of our story time and time again.
You may not think you’re an artist, but you do have a story. And it’s more important than you might think even if you don’t know why right now. Knisely says the reason is that our stories were meant to be shared. However you express your stories — on a blog, in your music, from the stage, or conversing with a coworker — they can change lives.
Framing Faith is split into three sections relating to photography: Focus, Capture, and Develop. In these Knisely describes our relationship with God. With chapter titles like “Purpose” and “Perspective” we discover how, not only are each of us unique and created that way by God, but he expects us to reflect our faith, to frame our faith, how only we can.
I don’t want to spoil too many beautiful moments in the book, but how do you view God? Does it put him into a neat little box, or is it something like this:
What a graceful, patient God we have who will let us wonder and question, struggle and fight, pursue and seek, all the while never leaving our side, never getting angry with us, just waiting for the moment when we are ready to listen and then revealing truth to us in ways we can understand.
“Stories need to be flawed,” Knisely says. “If they’re all clean and shiny, we don’t believe them.” But we need to live our story to really create it.
Put down the phone or tablet, walk away from the computer, and read this book.
Speaking of reading Framing Faith…it comes out on July 8th.
BUT I’m giving away one copy right here on the blog. It’s really easy! Leave a comment (please use your real name and email address so I can get in touch if you win) and tell me the best part about your day so far. It can be as simple as, “the sun is shining!” if that’s your thing (I like the rain personally).
And if you’re really awesome, share this blog post on social media wherever you like. You can enter through midnight on Thursday, July 11, CST. I’ll announce the winner right here and via Facebook and Twitter by Friday at noon.
If you want to go ahead and snag a copy of this book (it comes with some of Matt Knisely’s beautiful photos!), head on over to Amazon. If you win, you can always give it to a friend.