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Max Pickering, Shirley Buxton and Christmas


It was in the month of August, on the BBC site, that I first saw the photography of Max Pickering: I was instantly smitten. A photography contest to select the BBC Photographer of the Year was in its last days, and I was so moved by his entry, that I brought to my site all the pictures in contention. Max Pickering’s was my definite favorite, and a few days later he was declared the BBC Photographer of the year. Of course when I first posted his picture on my site, I named the photographer and he found that I had blogged about his picture, came over and we communicated. Somehow I began getting hundreds of hits on my Max Pickering posts, and at one time (it is not that way today) if you Googled his name, my columns were listed above his. I wrote about that here.

When Jerry and I returned from our five-week trip near the first of November, there was a package at the post office addressed to me, stamped UK Royal Mail. Carefully, but eagerly, I opened the package and there found that Max had sent a signed and numbered print of this extraordinary photograph. I was taken aback at such thoughtful and generous action of someone I had never met, and of whom the likelihood of ever meeting is small. I wrote by email to Max, thanked him and asked if I could blog about his gift. “Yes, of course,” he replied and then we both launched into a philosophical discussion about the significance and rarity of our acquaintance, although neither of us could find the right words to express our feelings about the matter.

Man. What creatures we are. Of what divine and soaring ways are we capable; yet into what ugly and deep depravity have we sunk. Man. Made in the image of God. Made a little lower than the angels. Man, God’s friend, an evening walker in the garden, His companion. Man, cast out, dying, sinful now and clothed by bloodshed. But…rooting around inside us, struggling fiercely with our fallenness, is the shinning—the glorious, the rising, the giftings, the goodness…the distinct image of God.

And so, across broad waters, Max Pickering reaches to another human being…and shares his gift. A gift from God, to Max Pickering, to Shirley Buxton.

Surely, Christmas has come.

“Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem…And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.”

By Shirley Buxton

Still full of life and ready to be on the move, Shirley at 84 years old feels blessed to have lots of energy and to be full of optimism. She was married to Jerry for 63 years, and grieves yet at his death in August of 2019. They have 4 children, 13 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren...all beautiful and highly intelligent--of course. :)

10 replies on “Max Pickering, Shirley Buxton and Christmas”

Helen, John and Hudds53, thank you for being here and for your comments.

Fattien: the following words are taken from the website of Max: “The image…was taken in the municipality of Muoino, 150km inside the arctic circle in Northern Finland.”

You probably would enjoy going to his website and looking at more of his tremendous work.

Thank you for visiting here. Hope you come often.


Hi Shirley, pictures are beautiful. Thank you for sharing. I thought your comments about how high and how low we can all go, so true.
Really, enjoyed your site and will visit again. Thank you so much for the kind comments you left on mine.
Hope you have a wonderful Christmas


That really is a stunningly beautiful photo, and I would be blown away too, if someone I didn’t know real well and had never met had sent it to me. I’m sure you’ll find just the right spot to display it in your home so you can often enjoy this gift from God-via Max Pickering.

Exceeding great joy,

Christmas Carol


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