My path in a few words…
Ever since I could stand on my feet, I have felt attracted by the beauty of nature, and by the wildlife. I grew up in a kind of island, clung to the shores of Lake Geneva, this lake set like a jewel between the Alps and the Jura. Cradled in the pages of the stories of naturalist Gerald Durell that our mother read to us, and soon by my own readings of stories of discovery and adventures, I contemplated, while I was fishing on the lake after school, the comings and goings of migratory birds, anticipating my own explorations: those of a fabulous world which obviously awaited for me beyond the mountains which formed my horizon. … I did not know at the time that the blue waters of my lake concealed a strange treasure: mercury, that an agro-chemical plant located upstream dumped by hundreds of tonnes .... Anyway, the place where I grew up resembled too much a forgotten patch of paradise to let me get away with it unscathed. Photographing quickly became the privileged way of retaining some of this fleeting grace, which barely born, is already caught up in the whirlwind of time, perhaps with the hope of discovering in it a piece of the puzzle of my own identity.
The world is an enigma. Some trips nourished my thirst for discovery, but also my perplexity ! Nature can be fascinating and the world is a quarry whose resources seemed not so long ago, inexhaustible. Wallowing in life is one thing. But to discover how we could fit in a harmonious way into this creation in order to bring our contribution to it, requires a certain effort. The Bible teaches us that we harbour an “old man”, a man of a disconcerting nature. My famous namesake once said: “I do not do what I want, and what I hate, I do”. This man drawn from the dust of the earth - let's call him “Cain's child”, even if technically it is irrelevant - is the sum of centuries of a humanity that went freelance, since it cut off bridges with the Father and now leads its own existence of struggles and hazards. The very purpose of civilization is to civilize this old man, so that we do not kill each other wholeheartedly. Many can even manage to take this old man to church. But is this enough?
I grew up in a traditional Christian home, at a time – in the sixties – where we questioned everything. Thus the books on Darwinism and those on astrology and eastern philosophies coexisted on the living room's table. The large Catholic Bible was watching circonspicuously, from the top shelf that she never left. Unconvinced by a religion of rites and traditions, and seeing that I did not hurt worse if I escaped the Sunday assignments, I soon relegated the question of the existence of God to oblivion, to bring my attention on more concrete things, like animals and nature, and what young people are generally after. About nature, the Bible says that it is an open book. Still, a key is needed to decipher it. But at the time, the Darwinian explanation suited me well and I considered myself a proud product of this evolution – even if my own contribution was nil. However, as I entered adult life, some disappointments about my ability to settle in this life reminded me of this crucial question: “Who am I?” After long dithering, I finally pulled the big Bible from its shelf and for the first time, read the Gospels and the “Acts of the Spirit of Jesus in the life of ordinary people”. Something shattering that I couldn't tell to anyone was happening as I read the words of Jesus. It was as if the breath that had inspired the life of Jesus got closer and whispered things in my own ears. As if the book was also about me. I was amazed. But I was also indignant, because I understood that I had almost missed the most important thing in the universe because of what religion had shown me. Then, one day came an invitation to go to a meeting. There, without me asking anything to anyone, the Spirit of Jesus inspired a word to the preacher. That word was so personal that it went right into my heart. A back injury had prevented me from pursuing my dream of traveling and photography down-under, and was causing me constant pain, of heart as well as physical since I was being separated from my soul mate. As I heard the words, an invisible hand rested on my back and I was miraculously healed. … So, God had challenged me through the book, and now he was confirming the veracity of the words by this act of free and tangible love.
I had to learn it : our greatest enemy is not so much the devil, but it is this old “me” who lives in us. Although I received the seed of a new and immortal life at that time, the years that followed were not very glorious. No doubt they were in the image of a Christendom which in its fascination for the things of this world, lives for itself while seeking to blend in with the landscape, instead of taking up each day its cross in order to allow the Spirit of the One whom she calls her Lord and Master to change the hearts. The old religious man continues to grow strong and the new man cannot be born. But in Acts 3, God promises times of refreshment, when the pouring out of his Spirit on all men shall be complete. Then will come the apotheosis, when the feet of the crucified will land on the hill of Jerusalem. This event will mark the dawn of a new era for Earth. Many people suffer as they see our world gradually losing its prime beauty, its natural balance and its rare species. In Revelation 21: 5, Jesus announces the colour of his election program : “Behold, I am making all things new.” Jesus does not promise anything less! These new things are the wonderful things that the Bible and the Gospels refer to, but which we did not believe. Some will be so extraordinary “that their thought has not even risen to the heart of man”. Can we imagine that the upheavals that are taking place on earth, and which at some point will cause fear for the survival of humanity, are in reality the harbingers of a restoration of the world in this original Eden state? The upheavals that we are going to get through will be the last convulsions of the old rebellious man and of his reign of terror, which will soon be followed by a new man, with the advent of the reign of love of the Messiah and the establishment of a unshakable peace. This is the universal perspective of the Bible, the one that has shaken empires since ancient times. It is far more fascinating than that of a world government decked out in a syncretic and totalitarian religion, or even, the threat of the annihilation of humanity by obscure plotters. It is my prayer that God will reveal to you his awesome plan for your life, and the loss that any unfulfilled destiny represents. The link below provides some resources about what has become the hope of many. It is my wish that some will be of value to you.
• The most amazing adventure on Earth?
“Without homily and without speech but through the ephemeral beauty, nature bears witness to an invisible reality. Nature expresses the creative breath of a universe where every intake brings life, and where every exhalation is a reminder of a primeval dust. For it should be reminded that, if it offers some wonderful sights, life is first and foremost a constant miracle”