25 May 2020

A Moment to Reflect -24

The times in which we live…

Today’s quotation-with no further comment- is a song I wrote in 2014

O God, your wounded world cries out
in grief and sorrow, pain and fear
and suffering causes some to doubt
that you are here beside us.
Restore our hope,
enrich our faith,
give us the courage to believe 
that in the darkest of our days
you’ll come and walk beside us.

When those in power abuse their trust
and crush the ones whom they oppose
the weak are trampled in the dust
yet you are here beside them.
Let mercy reign,
let justice flow,
tear down the walls of hate and fear
till in their place forgiveness grows
because you walk beside us.

When some are victims of deceit
and truth is twisted out of shape,
when lies define the battle-lines
come near and walk beside us
until we learn 
the ways of peace
and all can share the feast of life.
Then all the world shall come to see
You always walk beside us.

© Iain D. Cunningham 2014

23 May 2020

A Moment to Reflect -23

“From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: that we are here for the sake of each other – above all for those upon whose smile and well-being our own happiness depends, and also for the countless unknown souls with whose fate we are connected by a bond of sympathy. Many times a day I realize how much my own outer and inner life is built upon the labours of my fellow men, both living and dead, and how earnestly I must exert myself in order to give in return as much as I have received.” ― Albert Einstein

A couple of week ago I said: “One of the reasons that it is easier to make pictures of flowers than it is to photograph human faces is that flowers never pose or wear self-conscious expressions.”

I stick by that statement. However, in my travels over the years I have been pleasantly surprised by the number of people I’ve met who have trusted me enough to allow me to take their photograph and who were relaxed enough to let their natural personality shine through. As a result, I have quite a number of portraits in my photograph collection of people to whom I feel “connected by a bond of sympathy” to use Einstein’s words.

Though I don’t know the names of most of these people, and I am unlikely ever to meet them again, I feel that there is a permanent connection between us for they gifted me their smiles and therefore something of themselves. 

These are two of my extended ‘portrait-family’ members, both from Mozambique.