Psalm 119, Part 3—Artwork

Learn more about Christ in the Psalms weekly artwork and see previous pieces here.

Person: James Stukenberg

James Stukenberg is a photographer based in Denver. Since relocating to Colorado from Wisconsin in 2018 he has freelanced, photographing editorial and commercial assignments. He and his wife, Anne, have a daughter, Henrietta, and are expecting another child in December.

Piece: Photography

Upon first look, Psalm 119 may simply read as a straightforward declaration of the beauty and truth of the Word of God—an unwavering devotion from someone brimming with confidence in their Creator. But these praises aren’t offered lightly by someone who has been handed a life of ease. The psalmist is enveloped in struggle—struggle with his own brokenness and struggle with the brokenness of the world that surrounds him. He senses the threat of succumbing to these forces.

I’m drawn to the tension between the psalmist’s firm belief in God’s goodness towards him and his broken-life experience that causes him to approach God in vulnerability, crying out “Do not utterly forsake me!” I identify with the position of the psalmist as I wade through my own season of struggle—questioning my purpose and identity, feeling isolated and unknown, longing for a sense of home and wholeness. Engaging with the corresponding darker emotions with a raw honesty towards self and God is the first step toward hope and healing.

The process of making these photos was reflective and instinctive—as I read and considered Psalm 119, I let it inform my thinking and seeing, intuitively making images that resonate with this emotional state shared with the psalmist. This short series overlaps with a larger ongoing body of work, visible at the link below.

See complete series

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Wednesday, November 24, 2021