Centennial Celebration Testimony
This year, as head of the videography ministry, I’ve tended to view most large Newman events through the lens of a camera. I’ve found that the world appears to be much smaller when looked at through a viewfinder screen, yet, oddly enough, the smallest details remain present. Whether it be the wind blowing through a tree, the giggle of friends telling jokes or maybe just a simple hug. I find it a humbling reminder to know we aren’t as subtle as we think we are. Our actions being quite evident even when we don’t think they are. Often we perceive that this is the case in our relationship with the Heavenly Father; the things we do disappearing into the spaces of time that many do not care to ponder after. But every so often, our actions, our experiences, our memories are brought into the limelight of existence, and the stories become flesh.
With my camera in hand, I attempted to capture the moment, something that I’ve struggled to do because as the scene is present, it soon passes away into time’s glossary. The present is no longer the present anymore but rather exists in conjunction with the past. I found that this was also true with those who came to look at all of the history during the Newman Centennial Celebration. People came to view the history and photographs, either of themselves, classmates or even possibly those whose names have now become legend. I also witnessed the younger participants, those in my class, whose complete story hasn’t been fully revealed, the Author still wondering where His characters will venture off to next. I often tend to think this: where do I fit into this story? This larger narrative of the soul whose prose is continuously changing, evolving into a beautiful poem that can only be described as the continuation of Christ’s work in the world.
Capturing things as they pass, being reminded of this world’s finite nature, is sometimes limiting in the secular world, but I continually find that when I’m doing work for Newman, I am taking part in something bigger than myself. Something that will last. Perhaps not in memory, but rather in feeling. Maybe that’s part of the revelation that I’ve encountered during this year: that the truth exists in the attempt of remembering, of how we were and what we can be. I was reminded that I am simply a passing vessel, one whose goal is to make known the living word of God to as many people as possible. To truly act as an apostle.
And I know this because I’ve seen it. I’ve seen it encompassed in the smiles of those looking at pictures of past leadership teams, ministries and formation courses that have now been adapted into my time in history. I saw it in the laughter of memories shared between friends who have now served together in the attempt of giving back. For it is in this grace of giving that we are granted a glimpse into the eternity. Of what we all so long for, the common theme that has transcended time and history: experiencing the love of God through one another.
And although my story hasn’t yet finished, with my character growing, his motives maturing, the writing style becoming dense and confused, I am graced with the eyes to see what I am and the saint I long to be. And before I seek to set my camera down, my story will end, and a new character will come. I must look back to the man whose love story broke the barriers for my redemption. That man who is all men and who stands waiting at the dock for us until our own time comes. And yet after having received so many answers, questions still arise. Will we honor the path He has taken? Will we listen to His tale?