Capturing God in a . . . Water Balloon?

I have long been fascinated by water, and I believe it is one of the truly great witnesses to the power, creativity and beauty of God and the wonders He creates.  Since I’ve gotten back into photography recently with a passion, water has been one of my favorite subjects.  I love catching water drops in action, capturing a glimpse of the wonder that is normally hidden from the naked eye; stopping a big splash to see the beauty of a graceful form as the water in a pool responds to an intrusion; or freezing waterfalls to display the complexity of billions of tiny, fragile drops coming together to form an enormous, mighty force.

A related allure for me has been water balloons.  I know what you may be thinking . . . my family had that same reaction when I told them I wanted to do this.  But trust me, it’s pretty cool to capture these things as they are bursting.  With the right timing, you can capture the full balloon shape made of only water:

or something like this – water beautifully bursting free from the confines of its unnatural imprisonment:

What has struck me this week as I’ve started editing some shots I took the other night, is how this demonstrates the power of God, and the foolishness of trying to keep Him “bottled up.”  How often do we as humans seek to limit the power and scope of God, creating a box (or balloon?) to put him in, and not allowing Him to be GOD in our lives?  I know I did this for the first 19+ years of my life, and I’ve tried to shove Him hack into a bottle several times since then, when His reality got in the way of my selfish will.  But when God is set free from that prison (not that He is not capable of escaping on his own, but in His Godliness and great gift of free will He allows us to limit His influence in our lives), we can witness the beauty, wonder and awesomeness of Who He is.

There’s one more picture I’d like to share – errant timing caused my hand to be captured here in the process of breaking a balloon.

This is not my best picture, but it struck me how this represents God reaching down to an obstinate 19 year old know-it-all, who knew that he needed nothing from God and wanted nothing to do with Him.  This young man fought against religion, against the Bible, against Christians, against God Himself, and wound himself into a knot of turmoil, angst and aimless agony.  Finally the man allowed God to come near, and as His hand reached out to burst the cage that had bound his spirit, the reality of Life and of who he could be finally began to show forth.  So now, here we are – 31 years later, and the young man is a little less obstinate, a little less ignorant, a little less . . . young, and hopefully a bit wiser and a lot more loving.  He now knows and gladly acknowledges his Lord and Savior, having been washed in the knowledge and wonder of God as he snaps silly pictures of water balloons.  And he stands in awestruck wonder of how great the Creator truly is.

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