An Elderly Lady, Technology, and Pope Francis

Wasn’t the Pope’s visit incredible?  So many things flash through my mind when I look back on it – that humble Fiat, the Speaker of the House crying throughout the Papal Address, the Pope making security let that little girl deliver her letter to him.  And those are just the big moments, because I mostly have gotten soundbites from the Internet.  I have everything DVR’d but it has been a hectic week here and I haven’t gotten to watch all the coverage yet.  But of all the things on the Internet and television that I’ve seen, there has been one photo in particular that has really stuck with me:

image1

Photo credit to that guy listed up there (I guess?)

I can not quit looking at the expression on that sweet ladies face.  I have to be honest – I’m a photographer by trade and I guarantee that I would have a camera in my hand if I were going to be close to the Pope.  But my hope, especially after reflecting on this, is that I wouldn’t have it to my face the whole time.   How much of life are we missing by trying to capture every little moment?  I love freezing a moment in time – capturing a memory to keep forever.  But in our “plugged in” society how many of those photos and selfies are truly for us, and how many are for social media?  There are a few people in this photo that seem to be looking at the Pope, even while holding phones in the air, but most are seeing him through the lens of a cell phone camera – he is an image on their screen even though he is mere feet away.  And I get it.  I really do.  Who wouldn’t want to capture every second of being in the Pope’s presence?  But I am always drawn back to the look of pure love and joy on the elderly woman’s face.  That is the face of a woman who is truly experiencing every emotion – who is experiencing LIFE as it happens.  And that is a beautiful thing.

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