During this Advent season I’m drawn to contemplate the journey of Mary and Joseph that ends with the birth of Jesus on that first Christmas day. What faith they must have had to say yes to God, to the Annunciation, and to each other. Their journey was truly a pilgrimage, a journey of faith. The photos included in this post are not from pilgrimages, except for the last one. All of the photos are from journeys I have taken over the years–a pilgrimage of sorts, expanding my knowledge and experience of the world we live in, which is in itself an expression of the grandeur and wonder of God.
A pilgrimage is a commitment, an acting out of deep spiritual beliefs, and the willingness to endure hardships to reach the goal. The call of the pilgrim is the call of all Christians to step out of one’s comfort zone and embrace the journey of faith to which we are called, trusting in the presence of God, who accompanies us.
In an analogous way, my pursuit of photography involves my stepping out without certainty of what the results will be, but with the openness and faith that the process will be fruitful. I suppose that is the way of all art. You invest yourself and trust the process to produce something good. If it doesn’t work out as you had hoped, you try again.
My prayer for all of us during this Advent season is that we trust in God’s loving and guiding presence on our own pilgrimage of life, confident that we will reach our goal and that our lives and our art will be fruitful in many ways.
“A voice of one crying out in the desert: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths…and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.'” (Luke 3:4,6)