These photographs were taken yesterday at the Nashville “Pride” Festival. I went with my sister to meet some of her co-workers from Nashville Cares, get some photographs, enjoy the glorious HOT weather :), and push myself past social boundaries that have shaped me as young child raised in the Bible Belt of the good Ole’USA.

It felt like a good day to experience something new.

Yesterday was my first time at a “Pride” event. I once stumbled into a “Pride”; Parade walking the streets of Dublin (CRAZINESS and I was out of my element in more ways than one), but this was my first time going with any intention. It was fascinating, sobering, at times uncomfortable, welcoming and full of color!

As a photographer who loves story, drama, being challenged and beauty it was a playground.

The word of the day… love.

I love the work of Nashville Cares and all others who refuse to allow some of the theological or social boundaries of humanity keep them from loving, welcoming and caring for everyone.

I love the grace that has flowed for years and continues to flow from my best friend, as I seek to love as Christ loves and live into the answers revealed to me as I walk with God and my neighbors even though we do not always agree.

Yesterday I wished my friend from my teen years had been beside me, so that we could share a cup of coffee. I would tell him all of the things I have learned over the years and about the beloved recovering sinner of God I have become. Have a chance to ask for forgiveness and to forgive. I wanted to hear his story… how his work is going, what’s life like in the Triangle area, is he still singing and who does he loves.

I wanted to tell him about life in Nashville, how things are with my family, my new love for photography, the source of the tears I cried on New Year’s Eve 2009. I want him to know how it was to step on the continent of Africa for the first time, the ugliness of heartbreak with men I thought would one day walk me down the aisle, and the sweetness of new loves who have come my way.

Yesterday I missed my friend, my brother.

I am sure I was not the only one… missing a friend, sister, brother, child, parent…

There are so many unknowns.

Honestly I am not sure when the day of reconciliation will come, but I will continue take on single step after another. That is all any of us can do, right?

Beautiful Ciona and Beautiful Dawson… they SHINE!

“Before you echo ‘Amen’ in your home or place of worship, think and remember…a child is listening.” Mary Griffith