More Blessed To Give Than To Receive
Friday 3 August 2012 — Category: Equipment
It was nine days ago that I announced Another Grand and Historic Day — namely, that I was selling my entire Sony APS-C camera system. I spent the end of last week and the weekend trying various means to find buyers: I sent an e-mail to about a dozen camera clubs in northwestern Oregon, put listings on Craigslist, and contemplated putting some of the items on Amazon and eBay.
But as the days wore on, I became more and more disquieted and unsettled in my heart. I did have a couple of guys interested in buying the Sony α77 camera body — one was quite serious and the other not so much. But both the keen interest and the weak interest seemed to increase my disquiet. Because Sony DSLRs are relatively rare compared to industry giants Nikon and Canon, it was becoming more and more evident to me that it could likely be a long, drawn-out hassle trying to sell this equipment.
The more I thought about selling my equipment piece by piece, the more it seemed a pity to not keep the system together. Looking at all the Sony boxes on the table in the picture, I would guess that I might have the most Sony camera equipment all in one room of any place in Oregon! I don’t think that even the largest camera store in the state, Pro Photo Supply, has that much Sony equipment in their store — you might have to go all the way to Los Angeles to find that much!
My stomach started churning at the thought of haggling over the price of every piece of photographic gear with some greedy customer who wants to buy it at way below its real value! Or dealing with auctions on eBay. And shipping and insuring each item separately. And Amazon customers who might want to return an item after they decide they don’t want it. And all the while, the actual and / or perceived value of my equipment sinks lower and lower. All this seemed like such a disgraceful end to such a wonderful collection of high-end photographic equipment!
My troubled spirit was a sign that something was not right. So for days I was constantly turning to God in prayer, asking for clarity and guidance. Slowly, during the past few days, the idea started to grow in me that perhaps I could find a worthy, needy, young photography student, and simply give him/her the entire collection of equipment as a complete unit. Surely there must be somebody, who could not afford the $11,000 to purchase all this equipment new, nor the $8,400 to buy it used, but who would be excited to tears to call such equipment their own. But how to find such a person?
Over the weekend, out of the blue, my son mentioned that a friend of his and my daughter was going to be attending the University of Oregon to major in photography. Was it just a “coincidence” that my son mentioned her to me, or was there something more to it? Did she already have a nice DSLR camera system, or was she in need? There was only one way to find out!
Tuesday I got in touch with her, and we carried on an e-mail conversation throughout the day. I found out that she is using her parents' DSLR, and that she would one day like to have her own, but she needs to save up to buy a car first. I told her about all my equipment, and asked her if she would like to have it. Her reply brings joy to my heart and a big smile to my face:
“Oh my gosh. Wow. I am beyond shocked right now. That would be amazing to have. I can’t even begin explain how much of a blessing that would be. I’m almost crying thinking about it!”
Assuming that she probably did not have a case to put all this equipment in, I realized that my Lowepro Pro Trekker 600 AW backpack would make an excellent case for now — it’s big enough to hold everything! And I figured out how to take off the shoulder straps and the hip belt, so that it’s more of a bag and less of a pack. So that afternoon I unpacked all those Sony boxes on the table, and spent some time figuring out the best way to arrange everything, as you can see in the photo to the right. All packed up it weighs 30 pounds!
Last evening this 18-year-old young lady and her mom came over to pick up the equipment. After I had given them an overview of each item, they told me that although it was astounding to be given such a generous gift, there was something even more meaningful about it. Apparently, this young lady had been getting quite a bit of negative feedback from people regarding her desire to have a career in photography. She was debating whether or not to abandon her dream for something more “practical” and “realistic.”
But with this wonderful and costly gift coming to her out of the blue, on a golden plate, as it were, she felt like it was a clear (an miraculous!) sign from God that she should continue her pursuit of photography. In addition, all the camera equipment was pretty awesome too!
For both of us, my gift to her really felt like a “God thing,” and we have a lot of joy and excitement in our hearts about it. Perhaps that is yet another confirmation of the truth of this Biblical verse — “You should remember the words of Yeshua (Jesus) the Master: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive'” (Acts 20:35b).
So this brings to a close my eighteen months of being a Sony DSLR camera owner. It also brings closure to the Great Camera Quandary which I was plunged into exactly six weeks ago. ALL of my equipment is now out the door, having a good home and a bright future in the hands of this young lady. As for me, it’s onwards and upwards with my new Olympus OM-D E-M5 Micro Four Thirds camera system!
On August 24, 2012, Stephanie wrote:
Brian ~ I hope that one day she will share some of her photos with you ~ and that you will in turn share them here with us! I love this story! I am excited to see how God will use this gift in her life!!!