Drive-in opportunities

A week before Isaac was born, I received an e-mail from The Lutheran.

The Lutheran is a magazine dedicated, naturally, to Lutherans around the country. It’s a national publication that most Lutheran churches subscribe to – I assume, as I’m not Lutheran – and their product line includes The Little Lutheran, a mini-mag that focuses on kids for kids.

It was through The Little Lutheran that I was introduced to the flagship publication. My connection to the Lutheran church is through Kerrie, who works at First Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls as a newsletter designer and communications manager. A photo I had taken at this past year’s First Lutheran Church Bazaar had caught the eye of the magazine’s associate art director, and she asked if it could be purchased for use in the 2009 Holiday issue of The Little Lutheran.

I said yes.


I was flattered. But I chalked it up to chance and moved on.

Then this e-mail comes.

Would I be willing to drive to Okoboji and photograph a drive-in worship for the main magazine?

Oh, and we’ll pay you.

And, just like that, I went from a professional writer to a professional writer/photographer. (That is, if your definition of professional is that I actually got paid to do something.)

The shoot was officially four days past Isaac’s due date. Kerrie sent me along anyway, assuming that the second I left town, she’d go into labor. (She didn’t. She waited another three days, actually.)

It was a thrill, for sure. I’m very proud of how things turned out. My favorite pictures weren’t the ones chosen for the print version, but I still like the ones they chose.

More than that, though, it proved to me that, again, as life as always proved, the only way you can do what you want in life is to barge in with the weight of your convictions jarring you forward.

Take the bull by the horns and all of that, you know.

Because opportunities show up when you least expect them.

This was lovingly handwritten on July 22nd, 2009