Our hearts in West Michigan have been shattered, wrecked, ripped wide open.
We’ve blubbered through more tears, wondering, “oh Lord, what next?”
Just when we think we can’t take anymore — new reports, new findings, fresh blows to our already anguished heart.
In the midst of our grief, a powerful video emerges capturing many of the emotions we are longing to communicate, while caught in a horrendous situation where there are simply no words.
A huge note of thanks to creator John Pottenger for allowing me to share his video with you. This work has impacted many lives over the past few days. In case you missed it on FB, please take a minute to read John’s introduction and then watch his amazing video — Lament.
Here’s John —
In 2010 I found this old abandoned church and was compelled to capture it on video. At the time I didn’t have a reason or purpose behind the project, and it wasn’t until recent events that it became evident to me what to use this video footage for.
The experience filming this broken church was both exciting and somber. My creative juices were running at full blast, while at the same time questions about the history and story behind this once new church came to mind. What had happened here? The wind that day was incredible. Like it was guiding my shots, and in some cases literally pushing the camera (and me) into the space. It was like I was invited in, and life was trying so hard to emerge a midst the rubble. In the film anything that moves (doors, ropes etc…) was not manipulated by me in any way. I simply filmed what was happening.
Back in 2010 I edited the visuals together without any music track or voice over added. I even went so far as to ensure that there was not music or sound playing in the background of my office in an attempt to stretch myself creatively and let the images guide the edit rather than allowing music or sound of any kind influence the edit. There was no script, overarching message or story to drive the order or timing of the edits. In many ways you could say it was spirit led. Each shot lasted as long or short as it needed to be, and the order of each image was put in place with nothing for me to reference or match. It was a very different and very organic editing experience… something I’ve never done before (or since).
Back in 2010 It was very difficult to create this video without a known purpose or reference to anything, but in the end the raw edit of just the visuals was finished. At that point I was just waiting for someone to do something more with it. I had hoped that possibly I could share it with someone else who would see the images and be inspired to possibly write music for it, or a poem or something to go with the images I had captured…. sadly it just sat untouched… unfinished.
With some recent tragic events in my life, I needed to find a way to cope. After nearly 4 years of almost forgetting about this film, It suddenly hit me that the purpose of this video was for this very moment and situation in my life. I quickly found some music and poured out my heart to God using the canvas of the visuals in this video as a foundation. I didn’t alter anything in the original edit of the video. It remains as I edited it in 2010. Now in this completed version I added music which miraculously matched perfectly without any alterations to the song. And of course my voice was added as well.
So here you have it. My heart. I hope through this video, you will find healing and hope that can only be found in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Lament from John Pottenger on Vimeo. Music licensed by themusicbed.com
Special thanks to Nathan Totten for his assistance on this shoot. He is to be credited for some of the shots that appear in the film.
Sweet friend, may I echo John’s desire — that we will all experience the healing and the hope that can only be found in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
With a desperate heart for Him,
Wow. that is a powerful video especially in light of the things this week you’ve been sharing. So sorry for your community and the hurt caused.
What a beautiful and meaningful video. I have been following the coverage from Los Angeles, where I now live. I called GR my home for many years and have been praying about this situation very fervently. Thank you for sharing this video with us.,
Cindy…that was such a moving video. Thanks for sharing it on here. God certainly does use you and your blog and your speaking engagements to bless and to challenge others. He does bring beauty from the ashes… and healing for the brokenness in people’s lives. I know from personal experience that from death, tragedy, and hopelessness, and other things that happen in our lives and the lives of our families…newness of life and hope and even joy can be born out of sorrows. He can restore what the locusts have eaten away…he can strengthen us and renew us. I give Him all the glory and praise for what He has done for me…and for you…and for countless others. Our God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we ask or think! Hallelujah!
He loves us all so much!
Oh. Just. Oh.
Cindy, this is so tragic. Thanks for sharing your heart! Praying for you and John as well.