We Are The Peculiar


Camera in hand, Ivan Cash finds his way into the lives of seemingly normal people on streets around the world. He asks them one simple question that has the power to cross the divide between a surface conversation and one that becomes intimate. The moment becomes significant, and filled with meaning. Through his series “Last Photo Project” we realize the “strangers” he meets are actually… strange. They are peculiar. And they are extraordinary.

Aren’t we all? Isn’t there some sort of mystery in that? Some sort of beauty?

His series challenges us to search for that kind of beauty in every moment. Do we understand that every time we meet someone, we are intersecting the story of their life for one specific moment, for a specific reason? Our presence in someone else’s life is significant. It has meaning. And that is powerful.

Cash asks, “What is the last picture you have on your phone?” It’s kind of awkward isn’t it? To walk up to a complete stranger and ask to be invited into their lives is an uncomfortable thing to do. As they pull their phones out of their pockets they begin to remember what that picture is all about. They start making connections, and suddenly he is in. Their hindrance in the beginning may have been fueled by the question, “Why does he think this is important?” But suddenly the question of “why” escapes the equation and they are left with a feeling. “He thinks I’m important.”

How often do we enter a conversation through a lens that says, “I want this person to know that they are important… peculiar… and extraordinary”?

Understanding the importance of our role in every conversation will change the way we live. Words have depth… they can be heavy, but used wisely they have the power to remove incredible, invisible weights. If we recognize the beauty in those we are around, and begin to draw that beauty out with spirit driven conversation that encourages people, we will change, and so will they.

I pray this message reminds us all of our power. No matter how small we believe our voice to be, there is strength in our words. We can change lives by simply opening our mouths. Will you let the Spirit guide your conversations today?