nature photography and God’s character

Written by PatriciaHunter

I'm a wannabe psalmist with a camera.

December 11, 2012

bird

He fulfills the desire of those who fear him;
he also hears their cry and saves them.
Psalm 145:19 (ESV)

It’s a mysterious and wonderful grace how God plants desires in our hearts we never could have imagined and how those desires are seeds that can grow into gifts for our good and His glory.

I had little to no passion or interest in photography when my husband bought me a little point and shoot digital camera years ago. He wanted me to have something to do after our children were grown, but other than taking pictures of the children and scenes from our occasional trips away from home, I couldn’t think of anything I would want to photograph.

We live on a few acres with a pasture, a pond and a creek, but south Florida’s hot and humid outdoors seldom beckoned me out of the comforts of air-conditioning, and I had no appreciation for the various critters and insects that creep and crawl about here.

Every now and then, I’d grab that little point and shoot camera off the dock where it remained most of the time, and venture outside for random photos of sunsets and trees and bushes – photos that I usually deleted. One day I knelt down to take a photo of a tiny wildflower in a patch of tassel weeds, and that’s when everything changed.

tassel flower

There’s nothing attractive about tassel weeds or their flowers. We mow them over without a second thought, but when that photo I’d taken of a tassel weed flower came up on the computer screen, I was in awe of the beauty and details of something so small and ordinary – and I was smitten. My desire to uncover and capture beauty hidden in nature – inspired by a lowly common weed in my pasture – took root and sprouted.

I never could have imagined where photography would take me from there – or even that I would be willing to endure the outdoors on oppressive summer days to capture photos of a cicada, a clown-faced dragonfly’s glittery wings, or an ugly toad.  It was my nature to kill snakes and insects, not try to get closer for pictures, but that’s what a camera and the God-given desire gave me the courage to do.

Neither could I have imagined that God would use nature photography to teach me more about His character – from the depths of His love and faithfulness to the revealing of the flaws in my own nature that I might grow in my relationship with Him and as a bearer of His image where ever He takes me and my camera – and that he would teach me that if I wait for Him to direct my steps and ask Him to open my eyes, with or without a camera, He’ll take me where He wants me to go, fill me with joy in the ordinary, and show me wonders anew.

You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Psalm 16:11 (ESV)

16 Comments

  1. Ro elliott

    beautiful pictures…beautiful words…and beautiful you…counting has opened my eyes to His goodness…but when I added counting with pics…it took me to a deeper level. keep snapping to the glory of God~ xoxox

    Reply
    • Patricia W Hunter

      Thank you, Ro. Your sweet words and encouragement are a gift.

      Reply
  2. SimplyDarlene

    Oh miss Patricia! Thanks for sharing your photographer’s journey. I had no idea this hadn’t been your bent for years on end.

    For me, photography has helped me see the tiny bits of His often overlooked beauty.

    Thanks for this piece… and these images. I’m partial to the frog and the final image.

    Blessings.

    Reply
    • Patricia W Hunter

      Thank you, Darlene. I’m a “big picture” person, too…and photography has helped me focus on those tiny bits, as well. It has been God’s gift to me. As charming as Pollywog Creek sounds, the big picture is not so attractive. Out of respect for others, I don’t write about it often, but I’m surrounded by much that is not beautiful at all. When God opened my eyes to the tiny treasures at my feet – it was huge.

      Reply
  3. laura

    I am so grateful for your husband’s foresight. And the Hand behind that gift.

    Reply
    • Patricia W Hunter

      Thank you, Laura. Me, too.

      Reply
  4. pastordt

    So we have your husband to thank for all this glory?? Only as the source – we have God to thank for the inspiration and YOU to thank for the faithfulness. These are, as always, spectacular and I love the words you’ve chosen – from scripture and from your heart – to accompany them. Thank you. (and what is the name of that incredible multi-colored bird??)

    Reply
    • Patricia W Hunter

      Thank you for everything, Diana. It’s a painted bunting. They arrive every year just about now and leave again late spring. I keep looking out the window hoping to see that they’ve returned.

      Reply
  5. Nancy Franson

    ” . . . that’s what a camera and the God-given desire gave me the courage to do.” Love this, Patricia. The lengths God will go to, and the unexpected means he will use, to transform us into who he designed us to be.

    So happy to see you over here at BibleDude!

    Reply
    • Patricia W Hunter

      Thank you, Nancy. I’m happy to be here. The lengths, indeed. He is so, so good to His people.

      Reply
  6. Sandra Heska King

    Oh, Patricia. Popping in here during a Wi-Fi window, and I am in tears. This is oh so wonderful. And it’s just what I shared this morning during our devotions–how a camera has helped me to see and to know. You see and show so beautifully. Happy BibleDude debut! And thank you!

    Reply
    • Patricia W Hunter

      LOVE how God does that, don’t you? Thank you for your very sweet words and for honoring me with the opportunity to “debut” here. I can not wait to see all that you will share when you return. XOX

      Reply
  7. Linda

    I couldn’t leave a comment on your blog Patricia so I”ll comment here!
    I have just come through that season of discouragment. I am amazed at the way He meets us in such unique ways. I’m thankful He sent you His love on strong wings.
    I love this post too. I am beginning to feel that way about photography. I hope to learn to be a little bit like you – with eyes to see.

    Reply
    • Patricia W Hunter

      So are so dear, Linda. Thank you.

      Reply
  8. Jody Collins

    Patricia–‘wannabe Psalmist…’ Oh, so thrilled to see your beautiful work shared with the Bible Dude readers. I am just smiling from ear to ear–how can one not when there is all this amazing beauty!

    Reply

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nature photography and God’s character

by PatriciaHunter time to read: 3 min
16