For another year I have taken an unusual Lent fast: a fast from colour. In the weeks leading up to Easter I have applied a greyscale filter to my iPhone’s camera. Everyday, except for Sunday, I chose one of these photos and pair it with a passage from the Scripture readings from that day. Photos are then edited in VSCO Cam.
Why Lent? As someone whose convictions are firmly evangelical and reformed, I formally scoffed at the practice. It wasn’t until I began to study works from outside the narrow slice of evangelism I was raised him, that realized the rich history of the church calendar throughout church history, including the Reformed and Anglican streams. I recalled how my annual observance of Advent prepared my heart for the celebration of Christmas. In contrast, Easter tends to sneak up on me and leave far too quickly, without much observance of its impact on my heart and my world.
Someone coming out of Roman Catholicism might benefit from abstaining from Lent, focusing solely on disciplines ordained by God in his Word. But I have benefited from time set aside to sombrely reflect on this world and its disappointments, my sins, and the hope we are preparing to celebrate at Easter. The dull and sometimes gloomy tones of the black and white filter emphasis this, but they also showcase a complexity of pattern and texture that suggests something deeper at work. And the brilliant contrast to the full colours on display following Easter remind us of the unending implications of the Resurrection here and now, amongst us.
Now that this project is completed you can enjoy the gallery below. (Please click on an image to open it in full screen and hover on the photo to view the matching passage of Scripture; an essential part of the experience.) You can also enjoy my posts from 2014, which were posted here.