In the fall of 2007 a creative project began that would become a life-changing experience for everyone involved. The Lord said, “out of small and simple things, great things shall come to pass”. The Reflections of Christ project has become such. Like a polished stone dropped into a calm sea, the ripples continue to reach out exponentially in all directions.
I am one of those who had never heard of this artistic project. This week a link to view a “cool slideshow” popped up into my already burgeoning email box. ‘Oh brother’ (insert groan), I thought, ‘here’s another “FamSpam”’. However, because this one was sent from a dear friend, I dutifully clicked on the link.
I was not expecting to be transported. I was not expecting to have a spiritual experience. I was not expecting anything at all. And, I certainly was not prepared to meet my Savior Jesus Christ. Yet, all these gifts and more were suddenly placed before me. Words cannot adequately describe my experience. Profound. Comforting. Moving. Joyful. Enlightening. I immediately wanted to share it with the world!
Arizona native Mark Mabry embarked on a photo-shoot of epic proportions from November 2007 through February 2008 recreating the great moments of Jesus Christ’s life and ministry. Mabry shares:
“The creative process behind Reflections of Christ is a singular event in my life….Aesthetic was secondary to spirit. There was really more care taken to ensure a proper spirit on the shoot than any of the technical aspects. …There was a higher power in play that I freely acknowledge…”
Along with the incredible images that Mabry has captured, original music and a documentary of the experience was commissioned to compliment the photos. In March, the photos and documentary were placed on exhibit in the visitor’s center of the Mesa Arizona Temple. This coincided with the yearly Easter pageant performed there. On March 8, 2008 the Salt Lake Tribune published an interview with Mabry (I missed it) Here is an excerpt:
Photographer Mark Mabry Jr. will display 26 images of Christ doing ministry and service to others. His photo model for Christ is Robert Allen, who played the Savior in four previous Easter pageants, and other men and women were used to portray those he met and served.
“I wanted to do a Christ-centered project,” said Mabry, a Mesa-based photographer who trained at Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, Calif….he set his sights much higher for more authentic settings. Working with aerial photographer Steve Porter, he identified Arizona locations comparable to terrains where Jesus walked. The entrance to a cave is the setting for the nativity, for example. Some photos were shot near Arivaca near the Mexican border.
“The past several months have been full of the most gut-wrenching, bar-raising and rewarding experiences of my life, artistically speaking,” he said. Among the images are Joseph watching over Mary and the baby Jesus, Christ touching the eyes of the blind man as an act of healing, and his talking to the adulteress in a message of fostering forgiveness and breaking down walls.