Black-And-White Photographs

Monday, November 16, 2020
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "At Even When The Sun Was Set"1 (Lyrics)

I once took a class in black-and-white photography at a local art school. Our first assignment was to take interesting photos to develop in the school photo lab. I spent happy hours photographing the Rideau Canal locks here in Ottawa, and the lovely sculptural art at a historic cemetery. Later, I developed my camera film in the lab, which had very basic equipment and techniques to control the light shining through my film negatives onto the photographic paper. It was fascinating to watch the positive images appear on the paper in the vat of developing liquid: the walls and gates of the canal, the angels and foliage of the gravestones.

Remembering the revelation of the lovely images in the red-lit photo lab makes me think of the revealing of God's glory.

Romans 8:18,24-25 – For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. (ESV)

The apostle Paul suffered much more than many of us ever will in this life: from persecution to shipwreck, to imprisonment, and eventually execution. Yet he still considered that the future glory in heaven would always outweigh any suffering and privation that he experienced in life. The amazing thing about God's glory is that it will not only be revealed to us in heaven, but it is also revealed to us now in salvation, as we accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.

The photos that I planned and composed for my black-and-white film course were taken in the hope that the developed photos would be interesting and beautiful. During the developing process, I was willing to be patient to marvel at the images on the photo paper pegged to the drying lines in the photo lab. So too, with perseverance and faith, we live our lives day by day, sunshine and shadow, victories and struggles, knowing that by God's grace and salvation, we will see the glory of heaven, and meet Him face to face at last.

Prayer: Dear Lord, we thank You that in the midst of struggles and disappointments in life, we can look forward to that wonderful day when we shall see You face to face. Give us the grace to be patient until the day when we meet You in glory. Amen.

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About the author:

Shirley Moulton <>
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks for the encouragement, Shirley.

    Great analogy, Shirley. Reminds us of the importance of patience and hope, great discussion material for my Sunday School class. Blessings!

    Thank you so much, Shirley.
    This brought back some wonderful memories for me. I lived in Ottawa during the 60s and 70s and drove along by the canal many, many times both when commuting and for pleasure so I can see your photos in my mind.

    I always read your devotions with interest.
    Your meditation about taking pictures of the Rideau Canal in Ottawa is interesting.
    My husband’s 3rd great grandfather was an engineer helping to build the locks and apparently his name is on a plaque somewhere around the locks.

    Thank you. Yes. Black and white with shades of grey. With living colour awaiting us. John’s vision of heaven left him stammering for words to describe what he was seeing. How does one describe the indescribable? I was in a funk yesterday. Winter coming does that to me but also a note that after being open for three Sundays, our church is closing til mid-January. I cried. This morning I listened to Gord Lightfoot’s “Wreck of the Fitzgerald” and Matt Redman’s “You never let go” and gave myself a good talking to. Compared to the rest of the world, we have NOTHING to complain about. I am so blessed and have been. Reading your devotional put icing on the cake. Thank you.

    Oh, Shirley have you ever brought back memories of my father’s photographic days! In this era of digital pictures, many have no clue how difficult picture taking was back in the day. I can still remember the scent of that developing solution…which was also highly flammable! Dad was a master photographer whose work won awards for his boss’s firm. He was also an excellent artist! As a child I’d no idea how truly talented he was. I appreciate him much more now that he’s gone to his eternal reward.
    Thank you for bringing back those memories by sharing this devotional with us. It’s kinda neat thinking of God developing the image He envisions for us to become as an image emerging while soaking in the developing solution. That’s way cool as my kids woulda said. Blessings.

    I had the very same experience your story took me back into a very happy time.
    The spiritual application is fascinating.
    Now we see through a glass darkly.

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