We know by scripture and experience that a loving God who never sleeps and is not influenced by the concept of time is accessible to us at any time and any place. Yet we also know that our life, our world, is one of seasons. Our days, our bodies, our emotions, and even the ease with which we find God are ever changing in nature and intensity according to weather, seasons, sunlight, and time.
About the Author
A former schoolteacher, Mal now devotes his time to capturing the beauty of
nature and crafting it into posters, gift cards, calendars, and books.
Eighteen years of commercial photography saw him complete over 650 weddings and
hundreds of family portraits and advertising assignments. In 2000, Mal began a
new photographic direction under the name of God-given works, believing God had
given him new works to do. He specializes in the use of a panoramic film camera,
and his work takes him deep into the Australian and New Zealand countryside to
capture many isolates with untouched landscapes.
Mal also works in close-up floral images with an emphasis on color, pattern,
shape, and texture. While some images used in this book are from large-format
Pentax and Bronica film cameras, most are digitally captured using Nikon D70 and
Read an Excerpt
Why does it seem we feel closer to God when we are immersed in a natural or idyllic or wild setting? And then even more so at dawn or dusk?
We know by scripture and experience that a loving God who never sleeps and is not influenced by the concept of time is accessible to us at any time and any place. Yet we also know that our life, our world, is one of seasons. Our days, our bodies, our emotions, and even the ease with which we find God are ever changing in nature and intensity according to weather, seasons, sunlight, time, and so on.
Many years ago, I experienced a powerful unplanned early-morning rising, as if being pulled out of bed by a magnet. I was saturated as I walked in the long wet grass around my lily pond, camera working furiously, seeing common old reeds in new ways; my mind raced with words of poetry to be remembered and written later as the sun rose. This was a deeply impacting mystical experience that left me with new words of praise and worship for the Creator. As a landscape photographer I have had many similar experiences since.
I've often wondered if the explanation for such encounters could be this simple -- perhaps we were designed to meet God in a garden. Th e garden in Genesis was made especially for Adam by God -- some garden it was! Every type of plant as well as every need for the new humans was supplied there. As my art demands that I spend much time in this world's present gardens, both ordered and wild, I have discovered that the human life experience is all there, laid out before us!
A life-size model of life itself is all around: cycles, seasons, strength, love, fruit, provision, abundance, color, fragrance, texture, reproduction, health, order, structure, timing, change, growth, movement, size, variety, and community. But the now fallen garden also displays death, decay, weakness, enmity, disease, pests, scarcity, competition, weeds, thorns, and the absence of permanence or eternity.
There are two unique additions with our presence -- soul and spirit. It's these extra dimensions, fully intended, wonderfully designed, that allow us greater purpose in this garden -- connection and communication, just a little of what was begun with Adam and Eve.
As such, we love walking through the garden. It is designed as a gift to us; we were not designed to just be another ingredient. It is a world, it is a mirror! All of us have viewed gardens from a similar distance as we walk through them or work in them; few of us take the time to bend down and examine them close up, and so we miss so much. Psalm 139 talks about a God who doesn't just walk by us but looks at us very closely and knows us well. Th at is why these images are mostly close up.
His garden is so varied, so colorful, so straight, so curved, so shaped, and so diff erent all over the world, just like His children.