The Camera Never Lies?

Think of when you last went to a wedding, and you may remember how, between arriving at the venue and the reception itself beginning, there was perhaps an interlude when people could mingle, chat, have a drink and relax. We attended a wedding reception not long ago and, as we waited to go in, a photographer wandered around, taking snaps of the guests as they chatted.

Now it's one thing to have your photo taken when you’ve had the chance to comb your hair and straighten your tie. But it’s quite another when you’re snapped as you pulled a face at something that you were being told, and the result isn’t guaranteed to be flattering. The photos duly circulated a few days later; do I really look like that? I wondered, looking at a snap of my open-mouthed self, my glasses perched on the end of my nose.

3rd July is the feast day of St Thomas - Doubting Thomas as he is often known from the unflattering snapshot of him in St John’s gospel. You may know the story: Jesus, risen from the dead, appeared to his disciples when Thomas wasn’t there. Later, they told Thomas what they had seen; he refused to believe it until a week later, when he saw Jesus for himself.

But less well known is the tradition that Thomas went on to travel to India where he founded several churches. He is rumoured to have been martyred near modern Chennai. In the end faith, rather than doubt, sustained him on his travels, and at the end. He became India’s patron saint.

Thomas and his doubts; me and my open mouth - it all goes to show just how misleading a single snapshot can be…