Sunday, September 2, 2007

A Natural Calling

Saturday evening, Wes & I had the awesome experience of getting some photos done of us. Aside from the occasional photo of us from vacations that random strangers took or that we took of ourselves by outstretching our arms, we haven't had any photos done of us since our wedding. So this was a real treat for us. It's really nice to have so many photos with my husband and not just of one of us while the other is taking the picture! We were asked to pick a location of where we wanted to have our photos taken. After some thinking (and then deciding if we should do two locations), we ultimately went with Cherokee Park here in Louisville. The reason was kind of two fold...though we haven't done it recently, we would take picnics at the park and usually go walking along a particular trail. In fact, all the photos done of us are on this exact trail. The other reason was because of our deep love for nature. When I was told to think of a location for the photo shoot, I knew right away that I wanted lots of green in the photos...grass, trees, bushes, long as it was nature.

Wes and I (though primarily me) have a passion for God's creation and being good stewards of the environment He has given us to live in. My passion has been so sparked up in me that I am now pursuing a dream of working with wildlife. Career-wise, there is nothing more thrilling to me than to work with an animal and know that I am caring for it and working to conserve and protect where it comes from. Few things hurt and anger me more than to see and hear about the callous and cruel treatment and views of animals. I was heartbroken when I learned that the Baiji dolphin had become extinct, primarily due to humans. I cried when I heard of when a person had tortured a couple of rats. And poachers? Don't even get me started. Without hesitation I would put myself in between an elephant and a poacher in order to protect that elephant. There's no question in my mind about. Yes, I receive weird looks when people realize that about me. Sometimes I had wondered to myself if Wes viewed me as " that crazy animal woman" as well. Then we took a marriage enrichment class and on the first night we all were to say one thing we loved so much about our spouse. Wes said "I just love that Mary has such compassion and love for the tiniest mouse all the way up to the largest elephant." Yup, those were the exact words...I remember them word for word because how much it meant to me. And Wes may not be on the same passion level as I am (and that's quite fine), but I love that we have conversations about animals, nature, and the environment. I love that I can talk to him about this stuff and not have him call me "tree hugger" as if it were some insult. In fact, the evening of our photo shoot, Wes & I joked on how we should take a picture of us embracing trees just for fun.

This Tuesday will mark the year anniversary of the death of one of my heroes. His death really put things into perspective for me. As I reflect back on how distraught I was over how someone who was fighting to save the creation of God could die so young (though I do not know if he was saved as he never publicly discussed the topic), it really reminds me of something: that I do not know when I will be called how will I use this time now? I can almost hear God ask, "What if it were next year? What are you doing now to live out the passion I put in your heart?" This passion was not placed on my heart by chance...God put it there. When I die, I want people to say that I was faithful to God and that I lived out what He called me to do. And in all honesty, while I'm alive, I want people to say that I am faithful to God and that I am living out what He is calling me to do. I pray that I can be that kind of light to the world.

I wanted nature for our photo shoot location. It best represented represents me. I was asked if I minded sitting on the ground since I was wearing a skirt. Goodness no I don't mind. I feel most in my element in nature and sitting among it. These pictures are a physical and visual reminder of the calling in my life and the passion in both mine & Wes' lives.

Thank you, Kara, for capturing not just our images...but capturing us.

Photo by Kara Guffey

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