Photo Madness

My new favorite comedian is Jim Gaffigan. He does the work of being very funny without  lazily eliciting laughter through crass humor. If you haven't seen his routine "Mr. Universe" - watch it. In it Jim comments on the ridiculousness of the ubiquitous photos we now take with our smart phones. He observes, "Ten years ago we weren't thinking to ourselves I wish I could take a low quality photo of my dessert and post it on my twitter page." He goes on to say that he now has so many random smart phone photos that "I have more photos of my kids than my dad ever looked at me."We take a lot of photos and I wonder what the photos we take communicate about us. In particular I wonder about this photo madness as I've observed it at ministry conferences. I just attended a ministry conference this past week where three "rock star" evangelical pastors spoke. At the end of the conference all three pastors were brought on stage together to be interviewed. Then it happened. Throughout the entire conference I never saw a smart phone whipped out in order to take a photo of another conference attendee. But suddenly when all three rock-stars were on stage, smart phone after smart phone came out as conference attenders (mostly pastors, mind you) took pictures of the moment.  Weird!This struck me as even more weird when I stopped to consider a similar scene at another ministry conference. At another conference I witnessed a pastor named "Ying Kai" being interviewed. Ying Kai is not his real name. Due to the work he's done in planting over 60,000 house churches in China, he is viewed as a threat to the Chinese government and if his true identity were made known he could be killed. He is a very humble man, empowered by the Holy Spirit in doing a might work in a big nation. So when Ying was introduced for this interview, the conference attendees were firmly told, "Before Ying comes you out we must require that everyone put away your smart phones and tablets. It's vitally important to God's work in China that you not take photos and post them on Twitter. We will be walking around during the entire interview, and we will confiscate any phone, or any tablet of any person taking a photo during this interview." Very different scenario!In this world's economy (found even at a ministry conference) you take photos of the rock stars and post it on Twitter. I'd love for somebody to tell me why people in ministry do this. But in God's kingdom economy, a humble servant name Ying Kai must be protected from having any photos taken of him at all. God must just laugh at us at times as we get our priorities all twisted. These two scenes reminded me of God's revelation on His thought found in Isaiah. Is. 57:15 For this is what the high and lofty One says— he who lives forever, whose name is holy: “I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite."If God had a smart phone, who do you think He'd snap a photo of based on this scripture?