Brent Bill is a Quaker minister, photographer, and author who is interested in everyday spirituality -- the ordinary which is wholly holy. He is the author of "Awaken Your Senses," "Holy Silence: The Gift of Quaker Spirituality," "Mind the Light: Learning to See with Spiritual Eyes" and "Sacred Compass: The Path of Spiritual Discernment" (foreword by Richard Foster).
This blog is a compendium of writing, photography, seriouness and silliness -- depending on Brent's mood.
Christine, besides being an author, is a Benedictine Oblate,
writer, artist, spiritual director, retreat facilitator, and teacher. She’s
also the on-line abbess for Abbey of the Arts, an amazing
site that you should know about, if you don’t already. I’m a regular visitor to the site and
participant in her “Invitation to Photography” spirituality exercises. She’s going to guest blog here soon!
As a photographer, as soon as I heard about Eyes of the Heart, I knew I wanted to
read it. I was not disappointed. Christine is a wise writer and grand guide
into the idea of combining contemplation and photography. I appreciate this as I’ve been doing what I
call “praying with my camera” for years.
In some ways, Christine’s concept is similar to Sybil MacBeth’s concept
of “Praying in Color” -- an active, visual, and meditative form
of intercessory prayer.
We find that the title comes from Ephesians
1:18 when Christine writes, “Photography as a spiritual practice combines the
active art of image-receiving with the contemplative nature and
open-heartedness of prayer. It
cultivates what I call sacred seeing or seeing with ‘the eyes of the heart.’” Of course, this resonates with me – having written
myself about learning to see deeply as a spiritual practice (Mind the Light) and the integration of
body, mind, and soul to experience the Divine as we move through this world (Awaken Your Senses).
Eyes of the Heart is filled with thoughts helpful and inspiring. “For me, both art and spirituality are truly
about tending to the moments of life: listening deeply, holding space, encountering
the sacred, and touching eternity. For a
few seconds I touch time beyond time and in that spacious presence my heart
grows wider, my imagination frees, my breath catches, and I am held in awe and
wonder. These are the moments that help
to make life full of meaning.”
Indeed. Words such as that are an
invitation to experience God breaking through – via the means of a simple tool
that many of us have in phones even, a camera.
It’s a gadget that is often thought of just as that – a gadget – rather than
a entry into eternity and spiritual experience.
Christine’s book helps us broaden our spiritual horizons whether through
phone camera or professional DLSRs.
Make no mistake. This
is no book solely for photographers. It
is for anyone who desires a fresh way of connecting the visible daily life with
the often unnoticed Divine presence in it all.
It opens a new way of seeing God at work in and around us. We behold beauty, life, truth and love as we
learn to notice – as we accept Christine’s invitation to “see with the eyes of