I have always loved the big stained glass windows in the West Liberty Christian Church. I have tried many times to capture a good photo of this particular window. In the summer when we would have choir practice in the late afternoon before sunset when the sun would be low in the sky, this window which faces west would glow at this time of the day. It was a beautiful sight.
I wanted to take a photo during the glow time in the late afternoon when it was the most radiant. Unfortunately, this is also the most difficult time to photograph a stained glass window. The exposure is very hard to get right because so much of the detail of the window will be “washed out” in the bright light coming through the window. You just can’t follow the metering system in the camera. Because of digital imaging, I don’t have to shoot up two rolls of film and still be disappointed because I did not get what I wanted. After numerous shots, I finally got something I could live with.
We lost our 102-year old building to the tornado that came through West Liberty earlier this year and with it went the three large stained glass windows. These windows brought me much comfort from the time I was a child til my inner child was housed in a 55-year old body.
I know in my Christian faith we are not supposed to have images of God and I know those images of Jesus in the windows did not look like the real Jesus of Nazareth, however they helped me meditate at times on who Jesus really is. I am a follower of Jesus Christ and at times that is a very difficult thing for me and at other times it is so simple. The difference in these times is my willingness to follow the Shepherd and hear His voice. Usually I am the one lamb in the thicket or the crevice baa-ing for help, because I have gone off on my own looking for that greener pasture.
The Gentle Shepherd depicted in this window is forever calling me to follow Him. I hope I can always answer that call.
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