15 Faces #14 – Pastor & Friend

15 Faces #14

Pastor Ben McEachern is the 14th installment of 15 Faces.  He is my pastor.  He is the pastor of NorthRidge Fellowship, the church that I call my home church.  I think more than just calling him my Pastor, I call him my friend.  Ben has been a person that has been there when I had a hurting heart due to the pains of losing my mom to cancer (and stuffing those feelings), and helped me navigate through other tough stuff in life.  He cried with me, put his arm on my shoulder, and prayed with me.  He was just there.  He didn’t care about my bumps or bruises, he just knew I needed a hug.  So I guess this installment has a little more personal ring to it than the others.  It is a little about me and the impact this man has had on my life, and the life of my family.

So here is a little background on Ben.

Ben is married to Teri, and he is absolutely head over heals in love with her.  He has 4 kids and one grandchild.  In his free time he is an avid sailor.

While I did these shots I had one hand on the mast of his sailboat, to provide leverage for him while he worked on a few parts in need of repair, and the other to press the shutter release.  The sailboat provides a time for him to take a deep breath, recharge.  His life is not as easy as some may think. He pours into the lives of many people at all different levels of need, whether spiritual, emotional, or physical.  He knows this is the call that God put on his life many years ago.  Pastor Ben is the kind of man whose hands are rough from the times where he has helped another in need (he has nailed a few shingles in the calm right after a storm).  You will probably see a tear on his cheek as he has cried with someone who just lost a loved one.  He just loves you where you’re at, and for who you are.

During our time Pastor Ben asked me what I have gained from my 15 Faces series.  I didn’t have to dig too deep to know I have gained a greater glimpse of humanity.  I have been able to see the complexity in a person, the trials that people have gone through, perceptions and mis-perceptions of how people are viewed, that people truly care for you, and they will be there for you.  I have also been pushed well beyond my normal crisp, clean, commercial photography world and into a story telling world.  I have been pushed to see there is beauty in the hearts of people, beauty that will not show on the surface like a Cosmopolitan or People magazine want you to believe.  Oddly enough that beauty is in the strength of a man’s hands that fought for his country, in  the prayers of a couple for their community, and the bread made within the walls of a bakery or the story behind it.

So Ben, I guess I love people a little more deeply! 

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About Shawn Nielsen

Commercial Photographer in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. My studio is a building that I built on my 7.5 acre hobby farm and is wonderfully surrounded by country that is full of crops, trees, goats, etc.

Posted on April 30, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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