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 us at bedtime, and soon by my own readings of stories of discovery and adventures, I witnessed the seasonal comings and goings of the water birds, while anticipating my own explorations: those of a fabulous world which obviously awaited me beyond the mountains which concealed the horizon. … I wasn't aware at the time that the blue waters of my lake concealed a strange treasure: the mercury that an agro-chemical plant located upstream dumped by hundreds of tons .... Those fishes I was proudly bringing back home tasted nice nevertheless. The place where I grew up probably resembled too much a forgotten patch of paradise to let me get away with it unscathed anyway. Photographing quickly became the privileged way of retaining some of the fleeting grace which barely born is already caught up in the whirlwind of time, perhaps with the hope of finding in it a piece of the puzzle of my own identity.
The world is an enigma. Some trips abroad nourished my thirst for discovery, but also my perplexity ! Nature can be fascinating, and the world is a quarry whose resources seemed, inexhaustible not so long ago. Wallowing in life is one thing. But to find out how we can fit into this creation in order to bring our contribution, requires a certain effort. The Bible teaches 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 son”, even if technically it is not relevant - 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 made of struggles and windfall profits. The very purpose of civilization is to civilize this old man so that we do not kill each other wholeheartedly. We can even manage to take this old man to church. But is it enough?
I grew up in a traditional Christian home, in times – in the sixties – where everything was questioned. Thus the books on Darwinism and those on astrology and eastern philosophies coexisted on the living room's table. A big Catholic Bible was watching this guardedly from the top shelf 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 concentrate on more concrete matters, like animals and nature, and those things that young people are generally after. Speaking of 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 to be honest, 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 passed by the most important thing in the universe due to what religion had shown me. Then, one day came an invitation to go to a meeting. There, without me telling anything to anyone, the Spirit of Jesus inspired some words to the preacher. Those words were so personal that they hit my heart. A back injury had prevented me from pursuing my dream of traveling and photography down-under and was causing me constant pain, pain of heart as well since I was now being separated from my soul mate. As I heard the words pronounced by this preacher who had come all the way from Australia, 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 gratuitous and tangible act of 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 that 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 its cross to allow the Spirit of the One whom she calls Lord and Master to change the hearts of people. The old religious man grows strong and the new man cannot be born. But in Acts 3, God promises times of refreshment with the pouring out of his Spirit on all men. This will come to the apotheosis after a great falling away, when the feet of the crucified will land on the hill of Jerusalem. This event will mark the dawn of a new era for man on Earth. Many people suffer these days as they witness our world gradually losing its richness and prime beauty. In Revelation 21: 5, Jesus announces the colour of his election campaign : “Behold, I am making all things new.” He does not promise anything less! The new things are the wonderful miraculous things that the Spirit of God can do, referred to in the Bible, which we didn't believe but are nevertheless true. 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, 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 edenic state? The upheavals that some will see will be the last convulsions of the old rebellious man and of his reign of terror, which will soon be followed by the coming of a new man with the advent of the reign of love of the Messiah and the establishment of an unshakable peace. This is the universal perspective of the Bible, the one that has shaken empires since ancient times. This perspective is far more fascinating than that of a world government decked out in a syncretic and totalitarian religion, arguably saving us from the threat of the annihilation of humanity by obscure plotters. It is my prayer that God will reveal his awesome plan to as many people as possible. The link below provides some resources on 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”