- Hardcover: 192 pages
- Publisher: HarperOne; 1 edition (10 April 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0060654538
- ISBN-13: 978-0060654535
- Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 1.6 x 20.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
God's Photo Album: How We Looked for God and Saved Our School Hardcover – Import, 10 Apr 2001
"A true reminder of the value of simplicity." -- --Richard Carlson, author of the #1 best seller Don't Sweat the Small Stuff
"A wonderful gift that conveys the wisdom of children and evokes your own wonder." -- -- Spencer Johnson, M.D., author of Who Moved My Cheese?
"God has brought his heaven to the earth of Shelly Mecum and her band of angels. Hosannah and Hurrah!" -- --Malachy McCourt, author of A Monk Swimming and Singing My Him Song
"God needed to be locked into this great Photo Album to evoke your love, laughter, tears, and joy of spirit." -- --Mark Victor Hansen, co-author, Chicken Soup for the Soul series
"God's Photo Album is a dream book ... a dream that came true." -- --Frank McCourt, author of Angela's Ashes
"God's Photo Album is a remarkable book that reminds us that God is in everything." -- --Richard Paul Evans, bestselling author of The Christmas Box
"God's miracle is on every page. Thank you, Shelly Mecum. This is a blessed gift." -- --Neale Donald Walsch, author of Conversations with God
"These children and their families have found God in unexpected places and in return they give God to us." -- --Madeleine L'Engle
"This is a wonderful book created by God and those closest to him--the children." -- --Jack Canfield, co-editor, Chicken Soup for the Christian Soul
"a powerful book about God, faith, children, community, family and all the things we need to heal our planet." -- --Wally Amos, author of Watermelon Magic: Seeds of Wisdom, Slices of Life
About the Author
Shelly Mecum has been a reading and writing teacher and is now an author in residence at Our Lady of Perpetual Help School in Ewa Beach on Oahu, Hawaii.
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But we are public teachers, I thought, and we cannot go here. So it took me a good while to look inside, just rather stuck in a dilemma about what I thought might be there, and how it might be outside that line that's drawn church/state where at least in my role my understanding that line meanssomething.
But one summer, and it might have been a year later, I did open. Now I should say this was not true for the gift recipient, he just enjoyed the work. And so when I too looked inside, he had some places he wanted me to read. Inside a project had been started in which a teacher sent kids and families out into their world " to photograph with three hundred one-time use speed cameras for small hands that tend to wobble" so that they might save a school in a project aimed at making the funds through the telling of their story. In their own view they placed things "into God's Hands."
(And I have to tel you one smart teacher at the helm-humility will not hide that.)
Well the first part of the book tells what they did, and why to try to save their school. I need to say this is a school in Hawaii and they journeyed out in buses together to take their shots of the evidence of Grace as they saw it. So as you look at the pictures, you read the thoughts of this group of people who somehow are all impacted and profoundly involved with this school. They tell you why they took the picture they took, how for them it relates the theme, and how it represented their idea of what grace is. As well as shows you the picture. The voyage of the photo taking is also represented.
I am always amazed as I read, by the way,how these people, child to adult, interpreted their inner visions of "God." I'll never not find that poetic and simply amazing. The things that come up, the bits and pieces of personal telling, astound me still. As do the photo's. So reading takes on a poetic function.
Here I'm sure I might be wrong, but I think irregardless of your personal relationship to God, that the reading, seeing, study of "their" relationship to nature, their interpretations, their own personal histories, to their "eye," and to this project of their hope and faith, well, shows you something carried out in the most positive of ways. That always strikes me. And that did, in fact, help save their school. Functioned for them within "faith."
You meet hopes and dreams, thankfulness, celebration, you actually see an entire culture, the places, faces, life of these people. It is a walk into so dense a perspective that as you turn and read, you find yourself drawn into childhood, into wonder, into a work that really is remarkable.
I was inspired as a teacher.
I think that the notion of sending children out to do something like looking for "----" became clearer to me, in the actual trust to do it, and now with digital cameras, new computers coming to me, with more technological awareness I built into blogging, and into my work understandings I plan to -and I've already started by lifting right from here in my own way. implied in the book is that the VALUE of what they were doing the clean goodness of it was a merit that made it all work.
I liked that too. I think that way. For one thing in the blogging I do I use images, I tell the stories, even in the reviews I write here I tell them, in the poems I write. Open the heart. Share.
This book actually bolstered my willingness to trust those reading to interpret and to understand them as connection from my perspective. (there are failures of good will here and there for me, and that's possible I suppose with this book too, as it might be seen by someone not in this faith and argued as "used" for speaking of dogma's or children involved in having their mind shaped-and valid or not I realize this now more from having experienced the wall of that hitting me in what I did. Until one day you find you can do nothing at all.) It showed me that with a good heart, intention, they did their project, lots of hard work, and allowed it to go out into the world. It isn't there to convert you, well I don't think so, this book, though it might convert you I suppose, it's their lens. I think it's there to share their school and their love of it. Possibly to not only save it but to praise it. To praise the community of school and the power of active engagement. And it's fascinating to look through it.
That's why we know one another.
Well I know that as I teach I frame projects sometimes now thinking of the kind of work we can do together, listening to the children, giving them the opportunity to show their meanings and to explain. Mine are 1st graders in a public school so my aims are a bit different but given the current cutting climate, and certain other climates, given they are immigrants, a project conceived that asking about why we have school, what learning is, to represent in a photograph what "belonging" or "love" or "community" among many possibilities to ask-i see a series in which one asks for "loss" or "pain' to be photo-ed too, and then to talk through family generations answering- this kind of project within a school would have real power. This summer it's one of the things I want to consider.
Because ultimately this book was inspiring to me. Extremely inspiring.