If you were there you would have walked a line behind your sister with pink hair matted in dreads. A pace behind, your brother would follow with a fro coiffed with comb. This line leading you to giant brown boxes bearing simple goods destined for a purpose. Together your family would reach deep into boxes for a piece of God’s giant heart. Together you would gather into packages these reminders of God’s global care. Coarse locks, straight bob, and faux-hawk would open their arms to these goods and converge upon a great bin filling it with these bright orange bags – safe for transport. If you were there you would have gathered with family you didn’t know and might not see again. Family whose only connection to you is secretly contained in the pieces you pull out of the bin. If you were there.
I wasn’t. Contained neatly in my own bin on the other side of the wall, I sat still with my white screen in front and my white wall behind. From an adjacent table reports from Twitter were juggled between my social network friends. And I had the sense something full of colour was happening beyond my land of grey carpet and drop ceilings.
When the hour had passed and our scouts returned, I copied their photos onto my drive. Suffering from a lack of sleep like most of the world, I happily shut my computer down and left my container for the evening. The conference is not for me, I guess. I am glad everyone else is experiencing some of the wonder of God here.
As I made my way across the empty street the next morning, I stumbled along with my eyelids low. Down the vacant halls I wobbled clutching a mug of God’s caffeinated love. Reaching deep into the corner of my purse I released the key to my gloomy box. Following the faint dots in the flat flooring I shuffled to my station – white wall behind, white screen in front. Hundreds of photos awaited relocation to my ordered folders and so I began the tedious sorting process. Sort sort sort – sifting through the visual narrative of the night before – click click click. Copy paste copy paste copy paste copy…………
And for a long second I didn’t breathe for fear I would interrupt the sacred moment before me. The image invited me into the experience of two women present in the line the night before. Both reaching deep into the bins to scoop up some love. One with eyes fixed on her sister and one with no sight at all. And with cheeks wet with joy I was, for a moment, there.