Ground Level


The photo on the left is from the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina. The image on the right was shot in Arches National Park in Utah. Not only are these locations separated by more than a thousand miles, these photographs were taken years apart, at different times of day, and in different light. But they have one thing in common: both of these shots were made with my camera just a few inches above the ground.

With my camera in this position, I had to be on the ground in order to see through the view finder or look at the LCD. Not only is this an uncomfortable position to be in, getting down to that level requires some effort. But there was no other way for me to capture these images.

Years ago, during a Sunday morning church service, I was seated in the congregation while my wife was singing in the choir. In the pew just ahead of me was a father, mother, and their young daughter. During the singing of a hymn, the small girl insisted on standing on the seat. Both of her parents told her to get down. She steadfastly refused. Finally, after repeated words did not persuade her, her mom put her hands on her daughter’s shoulders and forced her to get down. Rather than cry or pout, the little girl turned to her mother and said, “Okay, I’ll get down. But on the inside, I’m standing up.”

It dawned on me that sometimes I’m standing up before God when I should be on the ground before Him. Sometimes physically. But always in spirit. Humbling myself before God is not always natural for me. But there is no other way to receive His mercy from above.

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
– James 4:10 (NIV)