Hello there, friends. This post is reaching you a couple days later than planned. My apologies! Hopefully you'll forgive my tardiness once you hear about my find for this month's Moment of Love Monday. It's simply amazing.
But before I share it, I want to say how much I love the way you responded last month to the idea of using this monthly feature to showcase others putting love into action in the world, especially when their doing so reflects two of the core values of our tribe:
- A commitment to offering creative, life-giving love in response to any degree of violence or hatred, and
- An unwavering belief in the power of love to overcome violence.
I'm looking forward to the things we'll learn together as we explore what others are doing to bring greater light and love into our world in creative ways. (And if you come across any great stories that ought to be featured, feel free to send them my way! My e-mail address is christianne at journeytowardnonviolence dot com.)
And now for this month's feature.
Meet Karen Walrond.
Karen writes one of my favorite blogs on the internet, Chookooloonks. It's an incredible photography blog infused with a whole lot of soul. I'm constantly in awe of what Karen can do with a macro lens (for example, see this), and I love the way she translates her careful attention to detail and beauty behind the lens into making the world a more caring, human place.
For example, this fall Karen is publishing a book called The Beauty of Different. It's a book that combines photography and words to celebrate what is unique and different in each one of us, based on the idea that these unique little gems -- even those parts we deem imperfections -- are what make us so heart-achingly beautiful.
Don't you just love that idea?
Another example: Karen has been running full-steam-ahead on a pretty fantastic life list, and one item on her list includes the audacious goal to photograph 1000 beautifully different faces. Yes, you read that right: one thousand different faces.
That is just incredible. And perhaps even more incredible is how big a dent she's already made in that goal in a matter of months.
This woman is a warrior!
So, speaking of Karen as warrior, let me tell you about a campaign she's running this month on her blog that we can be a part of.
She calls it Photobomb.
Here is the story of how I learned about it. Two weekends ago, I logged onto Twitter and noticed three consecutive tweets from Karen resting near the top of my Twitter feed:
I'll be honest. When I first saw these tweets, I didn't think much of them and just kept scrolling through the rest of my feed. But then a few moments later I saw this update from Karen:
Okay, how could I not sit up and take notice when I read that?!
So I went back and read the link in her initial tweet. It leads to a CNN article about a church in Gainesville, Florida that is staging a Quran-burning event on September 11. The church believes Islam is "of the devil" and is promoting the event on a Facebook page that had (as of the article's printing) 1,600 fans.
When Karen put out the request on Twitter for constructive ideas to counteract the Quran-burning event, someone suggested sending cards and images of peace to the church as a reminder of love. It reminded Karen of a photo drive she ran on her blog last Christmas (one that had been wildly successful), and suddenly it made complete sense to do just that.
In that moment, Photobomb was born.
Now through August 25, Karen is collecting photos from people around the world who want to send the church in Gainesville a different message -- a message of peace -- in the hopes of counteracting their violent affront against Islam, its followers, and their holy book.
I'm sure it's easy to tell why this Photobomb project would inspire me. My own journey toward nonviolence began when I encountered the idea that love was the only force powerful enough to overcome violence. Nearly two years have elapsed since that moment, and every day I still live each day with the question Is it true? ringing in the back of my mind.
I want to see what -- if anything -- sending images and messages of peace to that church in Gainesville can do to make a difference.
But even if it doesn't make any kind of difference, I guess the truth is that I want to do it anyway. So much of this nonviolent path is really about who we will choose to be in any given moment or when faced with any situation.
When faced with this particular situation, then, I want to choose peace and love.
So, here is the image of peace I am sending to Karen in this coming week. It's a picture of my little girl kitty, Diva, looking up with the same eyes of great trust and vulnerability she turns on me each day. It's a look that breaks my heart every time because it fills my heart with more love and care for her than I hardly know how to hold inside myself. And truthfully, it's a look that teaches me more about God's love for me and my love for him than reading the Bible does most days.
Perhaps this picture will provoke similar feelings of tenderness and love in the hearts of those who receive it in Gainesville.
So, what about you? Will you be a part of the Photobomb project? If so, click here to learn how to participate.
And if you do participate, share a link in the comments below to the photo you will send! It would be fun to see the ways in which our community participates in this counter-campaign of peace.