By Alex Haraus
Discussing Creation in faith circles often leads the conversation into a historical pitfall, limiting the beauty and mysticism surrounding it to years and years ago; “God created the heavens and the earth” ushers us into a restricted headspace that is comparatively impersonal to God’s Divine Name, “I am,” which has implications for how we should see Creation.
The truth behind those words is, sadly, often less than experiential for people. God is. He sustains the earth. God moves within the earth. He caresses us with the wind, cuts landscapes with rushing rivers, furnishes cities with blossoming trees and evidences His characteristics within every creature. His love is turbulent, passionate, gentle, and strong; it is a masterwork of powerful storms, radiant sunsets, and chirping sparrows. We live surrounded by His beauty and magnanimity because He wants us to, and that makes every beautiful detail even more comforting. It is breathtaking to fathom the relationship we have with Him through nature; nature is love, and we are its recipient.
It’s a shame, then, that we aren’t reciprocating.
For as powerful and beautiful as it is, nature is also involuntarily vulnerable to our actions. We must see it with a loving heart to truly connect with it. Loving relationships are mutually beneficial and inherently sacrificial, but it’s difficult–probably even unlikely–to sacrifice for something we do not love.
I seek to photograph God’s personality in nature because of this. His power, playfulness, and unashamed intimacy is broadcast for all to see, yet it often goes unattributed to the God who sustains it. As a result, we find ourselves in circles of thought manufacturing economic ways of thinking about nature and cost-effective practices; we find ourselves in conversations where love and respect fall to the wayside. We must not forget that the fate of real people is bound to our treatment of the planet, and it is
Hopefully, my photography will inspire people to care about the only world we’ve got in a more intimate, loving way, and encourage others to feel loved by every beautiful detail. He truly gave us a magical place.