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Image from the Leaving Babylon Series by Ron Cowie

“Peace Of The Lord” platinum or archival ink print by Ron Cowie From Leaving Babylon

My favorite part of going to church, besides the coffee, is right after the general prayer of confession when the priest says “May the Peace of The Lord which defies all understanding be with you now.” Then everyone shakes hands and stuff. This photo speaks to that peace. The important part for me is “defies all understanding” God is too transcendent to be fully understood by anyone. For this, I am most grateful.

The image was made with a pinhole camera on a sunny day. I overexposed the negative and had to modify the negative chemically to make a printable image. In other words, I did it all wrong and had to dig myself out of a hole. The image turned out better than I had planned. In a nutshell, this exemplifies my relationship with God.

My best thinking is ego-centric (self-centered). The image I had in mind was clear and well exposed. I wanted people in Watch Hill to buy it. My vision was purely commercial and impersonal. My hope was to make an image of a Watch Hill landmark in a new way and sell it to people. None of that happened but I got to see God work through me in spite of all my best thinking.

“Peace Of The Lord” is a dark print. It isn’t a sharp photo either. The lighthouse is hard to see or clearly define, yet, we know it is there. Your eyes need to adjust to it in order to see it for what it is.

God’s peace is not about getting all the answers, but about sharpening our questions. God’s peace is about charting a course with fixed stars on a partly cloudy night. This image reminds me that peace is a constant element in my daily life. My access is only blocked by what I put between myself and it.