I like to take pictures.
I like to take pictures with my heart…
to inspire emotional connectedness
to capture a story- the account of His imprints,
to roll back the corners of a moment,
and catch a glimpse of a story that might have gone unread.
I enjoy what I do, a lot, but, you know what? It is time-consuming.
Others may just see a decent photo, but what they often don’t realize is the love, time, and sacrifice that is behind the image, behind the offering… my heart is stamped right on it; in full view, vulnerable.
These images are an offering of sorts.
A small, but significant way to let light shine.
But, here’s a confession.
As I peruse some of my friends’ professional photography work, I can quickly feel like my offering is pretty lame.
Do you struggle with that too?
That inferiority complex… that not-so-sure-I-measure-up attitude that comes from the hurtful comparison game.
For starters, these lovely photography friends, gorgeous on the inside and out, have way more experience than I do.
But, you know what?
Instead of throwing in the towel- I just need to take the next step and ask God for the courage to offer, to keep offering. To offer what I have.
I battled similar feelings, of doubt and discouragement, with my CD, Echoes of My Heart.
I was tempted not to come out with the CD…
Because it wasn’t flawless.
Because it might be viewed as lame.
Because it might be laughed at, or rejected altogether.
|Photo credit: Darling Daughter|
Colossians 3:23-24 says, “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.
Or to say it another way…
“Do your best.
Work from the heart for your real Master, for God, confident that you’ll
get paid in full when you come into your inheritance. Keep in mind
always that the ultimate Master you’re serving is Christ” (The Message).
Our job is to do our best, as working for the Lord;
to depend on Him, to keep growing, and to offer what is in our hands.
It might not be the best, compared to others, but, if it is our best, that is what we should offer.
And maybe in the lameness, in the weakness, there is found strength somehow.
Because if I stop comparing, and celebrate the beauty around, found in others, then maybe I will dare to offer more; being inspired and spurred on.
Maybe when we offer in brokenness, real beauty emerges after all.
Because when we stop offering- when we recoil and let the insecurities start shouting, then we are crippled by doubt and discouragement- lame indeed- as defeat threatens to shut us up and lock us in.
|Photo credit: Darling Daughter|
So, when your offering feels lame- remember that it’s the lame that He heals.
Offer your best and let Him meet you there.
Hebrews 11:4 “By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.”
May we offer like Abel, not in inferiority or superiority, but offering these small, but significant things found in our hands… that He might be known, that His Kingdom may be built, not ours. May we cheer each other on and celebrate the courage to offer and shine in the midst of a cruel and critical culture. A culture that pressures you to be the best but often overlooks you or spits you out when your best doesn’t measure up to their standards.
Someone’s best might be showing up to church when they are battling depression or physical pain.
Someone’s best might be ordering takeout so they can spend more time snuggling with their family.
Someone’s best might be extending grace to that grouchy cashier because she’s not sure what heartache she might be dealing with at home.
Someone’s best might be recording that song, despite the insecurities, because it might uplift another.
Someone’s best might be cleaning the toilet of a new mama because she is totally overwhelmed.
Someone’s best might be holding their tongue as to not crust the spirit of those around them.
So, can we agree? Can we agree to offer our best, and stop calling it lame? Can we ask Jesus to help us see with His eyes. Like when my son comes up to me with his hands behind his back, and adoration in his eyes and says, “Mom, I have something for you”, offering a dandelion; hopeful that I’ll accept his humble, yet heartfelt, display of love.
Because isn’t that why we should offer in the first place? Because of love.
When we offer, because of Love, the offering is never lame.
1. What can you offer? Are you offering? Why or why not?
2. Read Genesis 4 and record a few insights on offering afterwards.