Not wishing to participate in what I considered another fad in my husband’s repertoire of spiritual interests, photographing the Order became my way of participating but not participating. As an objective viewer in the witnessing of the Turn and the often times dramatic changes that occurred in the practice of the Turn, my camera caught moments that began to switch on a spiritual light in my heart.
At first the practice of turning seemed like a very strange way to “cleanse the heart” and open oneself up to the love of the Beloved (God). Through my years photographing the Order I began to drop my preconceived notions of what a spiritual practice consisted of and open my heart to the possibilities of the many avenues of worship.
As a child I was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness, and as soon as I was able I left that religion. For the next 20 years I was a free floating non-spiritual individual, struggling with the burdens of life with just my own wits to help me. In the early 90′s my heart was opened to the possibilities of a God not ordered in the manner of my youthful experience, but of a God filled with love and open to helping me in my life, if I would only lift my heart to him and surrender.
Which I did. Since that moment in time I have listened when God shared with me the things within my life that needed to change. The beauty of this relationship is those things He revealed in me that needed to change came at times when I was ready to accept the direction and the change. And there were many revelations of my life that were ugly and shocking, but He prepared me for them so that I was able to view them and accept the need to change without the feelings of ugliness and unworthiness that I could have experienced if I had not been prepared.
Traveling and photographing the Friends of the Order deepened my acceptance and tolerance of other viewpoints, added friends to my life, and changed the way I shoot photos. That’s what I loved the most about this time in my life; the changes that took shape in me by taking a chance, stepping outside my prejudices, and viewing a new way of spiritual living, helped me step up to the next level.
Feel free to contact me at 479-879-1688 or leeguthriephotography at yahoo.com. My studio is in Fayetteville, Arkansas.