What is a refuge? The dictionary claims a refuge is a shelter or a place of protection, such as from the weather or danger. It also says it can be any place, person, action, or thing that offers or appears to offer protection, help, or relief.
This is a hard theme for me to do a photo for. I think most people jump to the idea of a house being a refuge, but if it’s a true shelter from the storm, it could be pretty much any place that has 4 walls, right? And when you add the element of danger, it makes it harder because a house is not necessarily a sanctuary from danger. In fact, for a lot of people, anywhere but their house is a refuge for them. So then I have to figure out what is my idea of refuge.
Any place with 4 walls is not a true refuge to me. It may protect me from a storm, but there’s no permanence in a dwelling place to me. To be a true refuge, I believe you need to have a feeling that you’re always safe there and you’re always going to have that place to go back to. As a kid, I felt like I WOULD always have a house somewhere to live. As an adult, you realize that that is something you take for granted. There’s no real guarantee in that. Storms have destroyed people’s house before and left them homeless. Even rich people have lost everything and had to start over from scratch. So then I thought about considering a person or people as a refuge. I think a person can be there for you and you CAN feel safe with them but just like a home, a person is not going to always be there. This is also something you tend to take for granted as a child. You also learn that sometimes the people you put the most trust in are the ones that can hurt you the most. So what’s MY refuge? What place or person can I always feel safe from the storm while I’m in their arms or under the protection they offer?
There’s only one answer I can truly give for the only true refuge for me. I believe God is the only refuge. But how can I take a picture of God? I can’t. No one can. But I can put a picture of something who reminds me of God.
This picture was taken a couple of summers ago by me. Even though I can’t yet see his face, here is a wonderful thing that God has created for us all to see. Every time I look at this picture, I am reminded that the same God who created these deer is the same God who created me. No shelter on Earth is permanent but God will always be there for us as our refuge.