I looked at my husband and boy sitting together and my heart swelled with pride. I loved them dearly and nothing in this world makes me more proud than my family. I find it strange that this love and pride goes hand in hand. I am proud to be their family and see it as an honour to share this life with them. This year has all been about family. To be a photographer is almost like being famous. You get caught up in the praises of men about your work and somehow you think you have become important.
On the morning of my 33rd birthday, I woke up with a question running through my head. What is a hero? Are we, famous photographers that work hard and give up so much of our free time with our families, heroes? Are we worthy of the praises of men just because we take pretty pictures and willingly face the sacrifices that go with it?
I can tell you now, I have not arrived. I have had the most human real year! In the beginning of the year, I uttered a very selfish prayer. Since I can remember,I always wanted to go to Israel. In a haze of being overwhelmed with my life, I wanted out. “Just a trip to Israel, Lord,” I asked. I wrote about this in my previous post.
And on the 30th of September, I boarded a plane to Israel.
Why did I speak of being proud of my family in the beginning of this post? Because I can now honestly say to you that I am proud to be called a Daughter of God. This pride has nothing to do with me living a holy life or actually it has nothing to do with me,my life and how important I am, no, it is all about what Jesus has done and Who He is. It is like being proud of being South African, it is a feeling so deeply rooted in who you are.
Before I left, I asked Jesus why I am going? His answer came simply: ” I want to show you My romantic love.”
When I met my husband, I wanted to know everything about him. I wanted to know his family, where he went to school, how he was as a child. When my mother-in- law tells stories of Stoffel growing up, I ask a million questions. I am utterly in love with this man and I want to know him deeply.
As I sat on a boat in the middle of the sea of Galilee, pretty close to the place where Jesus walked on water, I asked a million questions to the Father about Jesus. I was where He grew up, walked with His Friends and performed millions of miracles. I could hear the Father laughing, trying to answer as fast I was asking, but in the stillness of the water, I heard deep in my soul. ” I am my Beloved’s and He is mine.” We became one on that cross. We became family.
The beauty of it all, I did not choose Him. I was still an enemy of Him, when He chose me. And because of this, today, I know a God of love.
And I am proud of Him. I cannot give Him anything in return. The magnitude of what He has done on the cross will take an eternity for me to understand. But we have that together.
I found my answer: A Hero is someone who lies down His life.
I can now say, I am not a hero nor am I famous. I am a woman, in love with her God, her family and a very happy photographer.
ps. You will note that my post is full of photos of doors and windows. I want to shout it from the rooftops: Open up and let the King of Light in!
I present to you, Jerusalem, City of Gold.