The photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson talked about ‘the decisive moment’. That was the instant his lens captured an image that was both fleeting and eternal. Many of his pictures then were quirky but unrepeatable. Each was of a sliver of memorable time.
We do the same with our religious experience. When someone asks us of when we truly experienced God, we pull out a decisive moment. We talk of hilltops and hospital bedsides. We may even mention flashes of hope which rescued us from despair. Yet my point is – these are all in the past tense. They were indeed as much fleeting history as Cartier-Bresson’s works of art.
Geoff Dyer in his book ‘Ongoing Moment’ takes a chain of ‘decisive moment’ images and illustrates a more meaningful experience. For example, he selected pictures on blindness from the beginning of photography to now. To him, time is ongoing and one snapshot is not enough.
Perhaps then we need to tell people of our ongoing moment with God. In other words, we can relate the experience of having Christ in our lives here and now. We may speak of the current steadying word in trouble and the warm embrace in worry. Or we could just let this decisive moment become ongoing by listening to why the question was being asked in the first place.