Be Brave: Capture Joy

Greenville, SC Photographer

The Sugar Plum Fairy is being lifted dramatically into the air when she looks at me bright-eyed.

“I want to do that.  I will practice hard.”  This little 5 year old, whom I barely know, she bares her soul at this display of God-glory on stage before us. A dream is born.  And I, who know so little about this child, am entrusted with a God-sized dream.  Maybe just a dream for her child-heart and, yet, maybe one she will be called to complete.

I tell her she could do it with God’s help and I lift the camera from my lap to freeze the Sugar Plum Fairy mid-air without the aid of a flash.

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Clara Dances

In the car on the way over, while my daughters sucked thumbs in the back seat, she had told me all about how the boy dancers lift the girl dancers so high up. She told me how scary that was.

“But when I am a grown up ballerina, I won’t be scared. I will be brave.”

“Sweet girl, being brave doesn’t mean you aren’t scared.  Being brave means you do it even though you’re scared.” I tell her in return.  She shrugs my comment off saying she truly meant she wouldn’t be scared.

Yet hours later, balled up on my bed with the stomach flu, I can’t shrug it off.

Being brave means you do what God calls you to do, even though you’re scared.


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Little girl dreams, like the one she shared with me, have never left my heart.  Those rolls of film spent and the ink spot permanently smeared on my fingers, they’ve left indelible marks on my heart.  The desire to create is sometimes overwhelming.  A week ago I was asked to sum up this desire in two words by a fellow God-sized dreamer. The words came immediately.  I am called to “Capture Joy”, to reflect that joy back to the One who gives all gifts.

So I pick up a pen, curled under a blanket with my body so weak with temporary pain I can hardly stand, and I do just that:

Capture the joy of a little girl’s childhood dream and the bravery of this one woman being called to pursue her dream even though she’s scared.

Sugar Plum Fairy