I’ve finally accepted the fact I’m not photogenic.

Okay, after seeing enough pictures of myself posted on Facebook, people’s blogs, milk carton backs or the bulletin boards in Walmart foyers, I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that I am not photogenic. The dictionary.com definition of “photogenic” doesn’t help, either: “attractive as a subject for photography.” (I don’t like the use of the word “attractive” in there. I don’t care for the inferences all that much.) All you really have to do is flip through a few pictures you have with me in them, and you will very quickly come to the same conclusion. Every picture I’m in I just look retarded. If I’m in a group picture, everyone in the group is smiling except for me. Typically while everyone else is smiling, I’m looking like I hate the world, or like I’ve never seen a camera before and have no idea what’s about to happen, or like that one piece of furniture that always stays in the back room where you never invite your guests. I don’t know what it is, but whenever I see a camera pointed at me, smiling is about the last thing on my mind. I think I should have been Amish.

A great example.
But there’s a second definition of photogenic that has been on my mind a lot lately: “producing or emitting light.” The Holy Spirit has been reminding me quite often that I should be emitting light by the way I live. I’ve been in the secular environment before, whether it was back when I went to public school, or my job at Steak n’ Shake during high school, but I’ve never been completely submersed in the secular culture until I moved out to WV. Add to that the fact that my work schedule has kept me out of church for almost a month now, and I’m feeling very alone all of the sudden. Yes, I know that Nate, Maria, and Jocelyn are all working at the campground and all very devoted Christians. That’s not the point. The point is I’m not associated as being a Christian anymore like I have been my whole life. I grew up living my parents’ faith, or my church’s faith, or my school’s faith. Now I’m quickly realizing that it’s completely my own. My coworkers don’t look at me and see those organizations. They look at me and they see my actions.One of my all-time favorite quotes is from St. Francis of Assisi:

“Preach the gospel. If necessary, use words.”

I had that quote pasted to the inside of my checkbook way back when I actually used the thing. It’s been years since I’ve seen it (hooray for debit cards), but I can still picture that piece of paper stuck in there, reminding me to live and love like Christ.

So, I’m charting new waters now. I absolutely despise my job, which in itself is new territory for me. I’ve always enjoyed all the previous jobs I’ve had, even if I got tired of them or fed up with them eventually. This is the first time I’ve truly loathed the job I’m working. But I don’t believe Jesus would go in to work every day and whine and complain, so I shouldn’t either. That’s the easy way out. My calling as a Christ-follower is to be thankful for the fact that I have a job, and that it’s really not the worst thing ever, and to still love the people I work with regardless of how I’m feeling. The big question I keep asking myself is, am I being a photogenic Christian? Am I emitting the light of Christ through my words and actions? Or am I looking like I do in the above picture?

Don’t worry, I’ve already apologized to myself for writing one of those quaint devotionals I just slammed a week ago.