This week’s photo challenge is abandoned.
That’s a powerful word, something that evokes a sense of despair for me, and so I am loathe to apply it to any persons. Yet here I am, posting this picture that I took on a whim while waiting for a friend to come out of a store.
I’ll never make it as a photo-journalist because I can’t bring myself to take this kind of picture. Yes, I know, I did in fact take this picture, and then post it, but I’m going to confess, it is not without a great deal of discomfort.
Let me explain. I’m not discomfited by the poor, nor the homeless. On the contrary, more and more I find myself drawn to them with more compassion than I’ve had in my whole life up to now. Is it Christ working in me? No doubt, although I do not know to what end.
To the person reading the title of this post and looking only at the photo, the message might be that the person captured in the photo is abandoned. I don’t know this. I do know that the photo is an intrusion…I’ve broken his peace for the sake of an internet game, and I almost didn’t use it after all. But then I got to thinking. This man, while seemingly abandoned by society … Has not been abandoned by God.
Perhaps that’s what my purpose is here, to draw attention to his humanity in spite of my preconceived notions. Because, in failing to see his human dignity, I would be the one abandoning my own humanity.