Next time, I’ll know better: Don’t trust the iPhone camera to adequately capture a once-in-a-lifetime event.
I refer, of course, to the Great American Solar Eclipse of 2017. My viewing location—the venerable LaSalle Retreat Center in Glencoe, Missouri—was well inside the path of totality. A primo location for experiencing 2-plus minutes of mid-day darkness.
It was way-cool to be there, and to be among the 200-plus people who gathered from near and far for what was billed as the Splendor at LaSalle.
My digital photos, on the other hand, turned out to be a bit of a disappointment. The iPhone camera is so smart, you see, that it’s able to artificially brighten scenes when there’s not enough available light.
Most of the time, I’m grateful for that feature. But during a total eclipse? Not so much.
If there’s a silver lining, though, I realized that the iPhone’s enhanced exposures gave me a chance to reflect a bit more deeply on another light-play I experienced in recent days. While on retreat this past weekend (at a different center), I encountered a stained glass window with a curious inscription: ‘Confidence in God’ one panel read. And in another, just below: ‘Distrust self.’
Almost immediately, I noticed myself resisting the wisdom in the lower pane. And I’ve been wrestling long enough now with my many defects of character to know this: My reflex reactions are rarely fruitful. ‘Distrust self,’ it said. Why would such a simple statement touch off so much internal turbulence?
The answer, of course, is revealed in the panel above. Inordinate trust in self tends to crowd out my ability to have full confidence in God. Like an iPhone automatically compensating for low light conditions, my ego can block out God’s grace…and God’s wisdom…particularly in situations I don’t encounter on a regular basis.
Distrust self. Confidence in God.
Maybe next time, I’ll know better.
Let us pause now…to recall that we are in the presence of the Holy & Merciful One.