Framing Faith Moleskin Notes

Framing Faith: Backstory Part 1


In less than a week, Framing Faith will be making its way through the post to bookshelves, doorsteps, and whispered through the net into your hands. It’s been such a process in bringing this book to life that I cannot believe it’s really happening. Along the way I have had questions about how the initial idea came about and what I learned about life and writing… so the next few posts will give you the backstory.

Framing Faith is a book about focus—about how the world is moving way too fast and how people are seeking to focus their lives, to find a deeper knowledge of God, and a more authentic faith. Its funny how 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. It’s about being present, showing up, paying attention and listening. It’s all a process, just like trying to take a picture of a powerful moment or even writing a book. It’s all about practice and seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary.

I spend a lot of time in airports, so how fitting the seed for Framing Faith was planted while I was in one. Nothing gets your attention like waiting for a plane.

You have all this time on your hands and really nothing to do so you people watch.  As a photojournalist, I like to look at the finer points. Most of the time the specifics get overlooked, but in the subtle details you can find God.

So there I was waiting to board my plane at Fiumicino Airport in Rome when I recall looking around when I saw a young boy playing with his baby brother as his mother sat playing around with her mobile phone, the young boy; was tugging on her sleeve. She kept motioning to him – saying what I would interpret as, “hold on – wait a minute – just a second.” Seconds passed. Then minutes and eventually the boy stopped trying to get his mothers attention. She never engaged. She never looked up, never saw that her infant took his first steps, she never captured that moment of profound importance when all she needed to do was just stop, and respond to her son.

I like to tell you that I began writing immediately, but I didn’t. Rather, I forgot about all of it until I found myself amidst the dimly lit recesses of STORY years later. I remember having several passionate conversations about how we have these profound moments within our life, but we rarely present to enjoy them. And then that scene from the airport came back to the surface. I remember writing on a stray piece of paper this thought: we’re inattentive . . . preoccupied . . . engrossed . . . obliviously unaware . . . wrapped up in so many things that we are distracted from the moments that are right in front of us. We are disconnected from one another and from our Creator. It’s like we are swimming in the ocean while dying of dehydration. We are connected, yet alone.

In that moment is when Framing Faith began to bubble up from my subconscious and grow into a delicate concept. Images began to form. Penned shorthand began filling the pages of several Moleskines that slowly morphed into a vigorous hunt and peck on my keyboard. I never set out to write a book. Matter of fact I ran from it for a period of time. (I have tendency to do that from time to time, think it’s the artist in me that likes to create on my terms, but that’s for another time.)

To be continued…


Matt Knisely

Matt Knisely is an Emmy Award–winning visual storyteller, creative director, and author who loves telling stories of the extraordinary. Make sure you check out his book Framing Faith, it helps connect the seemingly unconnected, see the beauty right in front of us, and revealing how to be present in the moment.

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