Cecily is the mother to six children and grandmother of 11.
Now, several weeks later, crowds of up to 600 or more a night continue to converge on this unique exhibit of fine art photographs depicting the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, complemented by a companion documentary and a soundtrack with original arrangements of familiar hymns.
The draw may have come from the fact that many people already were familiar with the work of professional photographer Mark Mabry, Jr., and that they wanted to see his technical excellence and undeniable skill on display. Others may have heard of videographer and documentary producer, Cameron Trejo, and his laudable talent for capturing a story on film. Still others may have come because they knew that anything featuring the music of Clyde Bawden and Jason Barney would have to be good.
Yes, I would guess that technique and talent and all the trappings of professionalism may have been part of it—but I believe it is something more, a much different force, that is at work here.
Whereas other artistic endeavors may provide ample fodder for the curious and the critical, who come, stand back, and take it all in, Reflections of Christ envelops viewers, involving them in a complete, soul-changing, extremely personal experience and encounter with the Savior. Rather than exalting the artist, this exhibit extends an invitation to come to Christ, to awaken your faculties to his majesty and mission.
The force behind it all—the very reason this exhibit works to begin an amazing work in others—comes down to consecration. And, in that, I believe, is a lesson for us all.
From the beginning, when Mark, a 30-year-old father of three, first proposed his idea for doing a “Christ-centered” photographic project, he willingly placed his time and talents on the altar, if you will. It was that very devotion, his total commitment to the project and his desire to offer the very best in workmanship and personal worthiness that began to work a change in others as well.
His enthusiasm, his desire to encounter Christ with a new perspective, to see him in a more personal way—exacted the same from others. As Mark began to use his time and talents to testify of Christ, many others heard, and did likewise.
Individuals began opening their stores, contributing countless hours and resources—to help with everything from location scouting and model casting, from costume preparation to gathering props, from recording sessions, to photo finishing, printing and framing. By the time it was finished, more than 100 people had been involved—more than 100 had felt the magnetic power of this consecrated effort.
For me, traveling to
Among the lessons, I observed that those who are doing their work for the Lord don’t complain about long drives and physical discomforts—even if that means walking barefoot across razor-sharp rocks or being immersed in icy water. I learned that preparation requires considering things technical and physical, but that it is spiritual preparation that supplants even faulty batteries and broken lights to truly illuminate ones efforts. I learned that Christ’s question, “Lovest thou me, more than these?” applies directly to me and to the “fish” that distract me from leaving my nets and following fully.
Most of all, I witnessed what consecration accomplishes. I saw and knew, and now understand that, yes, “if YOU build it,” they may come, but if you turn over your time, talents and very will—allowing the Lord to build a great work through you—others will come, they will partake, they will be changed and they, too, will begin to become yet another Reflection of Christ.