February 2013

January 2013 :: “Shorty”

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Name: Harold “Shorty” Marlowe

Age: 86

Medical crisis that prayer is being requested for:

Severe and constant back pain that modern medicine has not been able to relieve.

What’s your family like?

I have three wonderful children and 3 grandchildren. (I feel compelled to add that he also has a wife that he loves dearly!)

What are your passions in life?

Walking a Christian life and trying to set an example.

What are your fears?

Becoming physically disabled.

…and your dreams?

 Being able to be independent physically as long as my wife and I live.

What’s your favorite food, musician or band, book, movie, and hobby?

My favorite foods are fried chicken, spaghetti, and chocolate pie. My favorite movies are “Sound of Music” and “Gone With The Wind.” My favorite singers are George Beverly Shea and Andrea Bocelli. My favorite hobby is reading.

What are your regrets in life? Do you have any?

 Not planning for retirement as we should have done.

What the best advice you have to give to those that read about and pray for you here?

Be optimistic and prayerful.

I was hesitant about featuring a family member first for this project, but it really seems to fit in this case because the project was conceived after a few simple words that my Uncle Shorty said to me back in October. He has been very brief with his responses here, and they give only a taste of who he is. I don’t think enough good things can be said about the man. You can read more about him being a gunner on the USS Alabama here and what type of husband he is here. He said above that one of his passions in life is setting an example. Well, the man does set an example – a very good one. Please send your prayers his way.

 

 

Portraits for Prayer :: Its Conception

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Back in October 2012 this project came to mind after I visited my Great Uncle Shorty and Great Aunt Evelyn for the weekend. I drove up to see them after I received an email from my mom saying she was concerned about my Uncle’s condition. He had been experiencing extreme back pain that his doctors had not been able to relieve – even with the strongest of pain pills. My mom asked me to pray for him; but I wanted to do something, not just pray. I thought that just my presence there with them might help, and that trip was my effort to meet God part-way in helping my Uncle feel better.

I think my visit helped. Before I left that Sunday I decided to do a portrait of both my Uncle Shorty and Aunt Evelyn together,  knowing I was going to write a blog post, include the portrait, and ask people to pray for him. As I was walking out the door that day, Uncle Shorty looked at me and plainly said, “Keith. Please pray for me.” Something about those words and the way he said them was heartbreaking to me and left me wanting to do more for others in similar situations.

To understand the significance of what happened next, you should know that for months, years even, I had been praying to God –  asking, even begging Him in frustration – to let me know what He wanted me to do with the ability He had given me as a photographer. Starting out as a commercial photographer in a very competitive market – not to mention in the worst economy since the Great Depression – I struggled to make ends meet at times. I was too stubborn to give up. That wasn’t an option. Somehow, things worked out through the support of my family, friends, and God. It was as if He wanted me to stay in the business by giving me just enough to do that at times.

But I still felt frustrated. I felt like I had a world full of ability and potential, but I didn’t feel like I was living up to any of it. I felt like I couldn’t get ahead. So my prayer was simple: “God, you obviously put me here to be a photographer. Now please, let me know what you want me to do with that. I’ll do anything you want. Please just let me know, and I’ll do it.” I can’t tell you how many mornings I said that very prayer as I started work for the day at my desk and —  finally — He answered me.

That weekend after I left my Uncle and  Aunt’s home, the idea and name for this project hit me – with clarity. I started working out the details of the project in my head while driving through the North Carolina Mountains that afternoon. It all made sense to me, but it excited and frightened me at the same time. I felt absolutely certain God had answered my prayer though, and I knew I couldn’t ignore it. I’ve had this whole project in the works since then, and it has been a true labor of love.

I owe a huge thank you to a few key people:

Heather Wright of The Wright Attorneys :: Heather, thank you for your legal counsel for this project. You gave me insight on it from the perspective both of a friend and an attorney, and you have always been fair to me. That’s huge to me. Attorneys wouldn’t have such a bad reputation if they were all like you.

Bryan “bVo” Voliton of Salt and Sugar Design :: Bryan, thank you for doing such a great job with the branding for this project. You’re a designer’s designer. And after knowing you for eleven years, you still manage to give me the most refreshing outlook on life. I’m honored to call you a friend.

Don Giannatti :: Don, thank you for your help with bringing this idea to life online, and for your concern about how doing this project may affect me emotionally. Your concerns have not fallen on deaf ears; you’ve proven to me and many others that your thoughts are worth taking notes on. Thanks for being a friend – and just an all-around cool guy.

Joanna, thank you for having the patience to read, edit, and offer revisions on the written content for this project numerous times. My life and future feels much better and brighter, respectively, with you in it. I love you.

I also want to thank the handful of people (you know who you are) who gave me input in regards to this project. Your thoughts and insight both eased and frayed my nerves. Considering both the good and bad is a logical step in doing anything worthwhile in life though. Your thoughts have helped me wrap my mind around what feels like the most important and meaningful thing I’ve done in life.

Thank you to each of you who read this and come back to this site to offer your prayers for someone featured who needs them.