In my living room, across from the couch, there is this large, framed picture that rests on the fireplace mantle, an obvious focal point for guests and dwellers to ponder and look at, appreciate and adore. The black and white photo is mesmerizing, you see. Not only aesthetically, in the way the dark wood of the frame contrasts with the white mantle it rests upon and the canary yellow walls behind it, but in the image, itself, which seems to capture the very essence of joy.
It is the silhouette of a girl falling mid-air which grabs my attention most. I can almost feel her fear and her excitement, as she falls toward the cool waters, where her friends splash and play, and wait expectantly for her. With an entourage of children lined up behind her, along a boat dock that extends out of view, there is no turning back. Feet-first and screaming, she has jumped.
The imagery in this picture never bores me. I never tire of the story, which seems to further unfold the more I look at it. I love how a bright burst of sunlight blanches the left side of the photo, where the already submerged children bob and play, and where the girl will eventually land. I love that two children are mid-launch behind her, one with feet still on the railing, body extended, already committed; the other standing beside him, knees bent in preparation.
But I love it most because it reminds me of my journey: when I was lined up, watching others jump; when I stood on the railing, paralyzed by fear; when I first lifted my foot; when I was mid-air and screaming. Time and again, we are called to jump, toward the light, into unknown waters. And it never gets easier, except that we experience God’s faithfulness, and we develop trust. So, in faith, we jump.