Matt Knisely is an Emmy Award winning journalist who shares his life and his inspirational insights with the purpose of helping you to connect with God.
His book, Framing Faith, From Camera to Pen, An Award-Winning Photojournalist Captures God in a Hurried World, was written with artists in mind. By artist I mean bloggers, photographers, writers, painters, musicians, and filmmakers, or anyone who has a healthy appreciation for the arts.
The Main Message
Throughout the book I was inspired and occasionally amused–I found his interaction with George W. Bush especially amusing. The main message of the book might be summarized by what Knisely wrote in the introduction: “In this modern age, many of us fill every spare moment we have rather than taking an intermission to see the true works of God and realize that he is present in every moment.” That message resonates with me because for decades I did that, I scheduled every spare moment to the exclusion of the influence of God’s Holy Spirit. It’s only been in the last few years that I’ve really prioritized my relationship with God and Christ and what a difference that has made. Framing Faith delivers a great message to anyone in the habit of over committing their self to the exclusion of their connection with Christ.
My Favorite Part
But easily my favorite part of the book was where he describes his disability. Matt Knisely doesn’t take in the world the way you and I do. Matt Knisely doesn’t process words the same as a normal person. His first grade teacher told his parents he would never go to college. His classmates teased him without mercy whenever he tried to read because he “sounded like a cross between Ben Stein in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off–‘Bueller…”–and a monotone robot.” As you might imagine, Matt Knisely spent most of his life with the self image of a major misfit.
His disability, called auditory processing disorder, is so bad, when he takes notes, the only way he can make sense out of them is if he illustrates them–so he did, when he went to college. And he still does today though the process is painstaking. But what was fascinating was the way Knisely slowly realized what he, his teachers, and his classmates thought was a disability was actually a strength, a gift from God. I don’t think there’s any way he would have achieved what he did in photojournalism had he not had this impairment. In fact I don’t think he could have written this book without it.
Why Does This Book Matter?
You know, sometimes I find it difficult to climb out of bed and go to church on Sunday morning. Reading about what Matt Knisely goes through to grasp the meaning of the words spoken by the pastor every Sunday was inspiring to me. Though the process of understanding is painstaking for him every single time he attends church, he has found that it’s worth it. And if Matt Knisely goes through what he goes through, what’s my excuse?
In closing, I’ll leave you with these words from the book:
Framing our faith is about getting down to the nitty-gritty. It’s about getting dirty–not just a little bit of dirt on your knees but immersing ourselves into the process of hard work, the critical work. It’s going back to the routines and practices we know that God uses to speak to us through. And it’s about looking for and creating opportunities to connect with him. It’s sitting back and praying simple, honest prayers to know his will because we know he is listening, even on the days when we question his presence.
-Matt Knisely, Framing Faith