Saturday, March 5, 2016

Writing in light

Saturday in the Third Week of Lent

Lord, you have been our refuge
from one generation to another.
Psalm 90:1

The photograph has always captured my attention. When I was teenager, I made a painting of it, replacing the black and white and gray with vibrant imagined color. Yet even then, I captured the pensive visage of the young girl, my grandmother.

I never knew that young girl, only the elegant mature woman she became. I have no stories of her growing up. In the photo she is pictured with her mother, my great-grandmother, who I knew not at all. Yet this morning, as the light hits the photograph hanging on the wall, I look again and sense the strong bond of connection. I am linked to this photo by blood and light.

Could these two women have imagined me? Did they sense they were casting their expressions forward for another generation to receive? They have passed on to me certain characteristics, visible and invisible. Eye color, a pensive look, faith.

Light makes things visible, provides energy, travels through time. The girl and the woman are literally captured in the light. In a process that we take for granted, but someone had to discover, their image was cast onto light sensitive material then made visible and preserved by being bathed in chemicals. A photograph. Writing in light.

Did they appreciate that day that their lives, like the light that made them visible then, would travel through time? Did it ever occur to them, as it does to me in this moment, that we are all the result of God writing in the light?