Today is World Sight Day and I could not be more excited to announce my newest endeavor, and partnership with Helen Keller International and Mercy Ships, to bring sight to those struggling in third world countries. Please continue reading for a look at my passion, and discover what drives me to want to share my vision. I am hoping, after reading this insight, you will feel compelled to also share your’s.
The further I get into my photography, the more I realize how critical an element light is. It is the first thing I consider when deciding where, how, and when to photograph a subject. Light adds mood, depth, emotion, and beauty to an image, and without light, we would never see the beauty of this world.
As I grow in my appreciation of physical light, I am also growing in my recognition of Spiritual light. Jesus is the light and promises that whoever follows Him will never walk in darkness, but have the light of life (John 8:12). The more I embrace Jesus, the less darkness I experience in my life, for darkness cannot exist when light is present, and the joy I have gained through my relationship with my Savior brings me light even when the world tries to bring me darkness.
My art and my faith have always been intertwined, and I love how light is the crucial element for both. I have heard that this physical earth is just a metaphor for the truth of who God is. As its Creator, He is reflected in its majesty, mystery, intricacy, and beauty. In fact, Romans 1:20 states that no man who has seen the beauty of the creation has an excuse to deny the existence of God.
It saddens me to think some do not see the light of this world. Some only see darkness and cannot see the beauty of form and shape that the light reveals and that I, as a photographer, try to capture. This is why I have chosen to focus my charity fundraising to help the blind. There are still preventable diseases in third world countries that steal this most precious sense from the world’s poorest people. Sadly, many lose their sight due to malnutrition and lack of Vitamin A. But joyfully, for a low cost, the treasure of sight can be preserved or even restored. When I learned that for a few dollars, a child could be saved from future blindness, and for $100 a blind adult could have his or her vision restored, I felt like I had been given the ability to make an amazing impact of the lives of others so that they, too, could enjoy the gift of light.
Jesus healed the blind—both physically and spiritually. As a follower of Jesus, I am called to be like Him. I never thought I had the ability to physically heal the blind, but through my donations, I can. How amazing! So, 100% of the profits from Abie Straps, my designer camera strap business, will be donated to Helen Keller International and Mercy Ships for their work curing and preventing blindness in third world countries.
To those whom much is given, much is expected. I used to feel guilty that God has blessed me with so much. I have a great gift in being able to create beautiful images through photography and have built a successful business around it. But I have come to realize that God has given me these gifts to share with others. So, now I rejoice in being able to share my gifts—through beautiful memories in pictures as well as restoring sight to the blind.
When you buy an Abie Strap, I hope you will be blessed with a camera strap that has been carefully designed for comfort, beauty and durability. But I also hope you are blessed with the knowledge that you, too, are actually playing a vital part in helping restore sight to those less fortunate. Thank you for helping me with my mission and my calling.