I held the picture up to the light, and squinted at the image of a snowy day in Michigan, forty-two years ago. There were my mom and dad, my little sister, Alice, and a neighbor girl all bundled up against the freezing cold beside a grinning snowman they had just built. I wasn’t there. I was eighteen, and all the way across town, tucked warmly into my very first apartment. Even then, snow was not my friend. But, years later, it made me smile to see that picture of my family, literally frozen in time.
“A picture is worth a thousand words.” so the saying goes, and I believe it’s true. A picture can set your mind to wandering back down through the years; make the memories wash over you, and make you relive the past. As I studied that picture, I felt again that small hand in mine; saw again the laughter in my little sister’s eyes. A precious memory, especially now that she is so ill. I hugged the picture to my chest, and thought of days gone by.
I wonder how many days we have left to create more memories, my sister and I. Each time I go to see her I take another picture, trying to capture the moment. Freeze-frame. I see the hand of God in each one, and thank him for the gift of time, and for pictures that are worth a thousand words.
Every picture I take is a little miracle, reminding me that God’s kingdom has come. Not fully…not yet. But, it is here, now! In every place where there is hope of better things to come. In places where God is at work, restoring the world to God’s self. Wherever there is love and light and laughter, God’s will is being done, on earth as it is in heaven. Like a breath of fresh air, God comes, energizing us, encouraging us, empowering us to endure, until his kingdom comes in its entirety.
Look for those places! Search out the hand of God in your own life! This summer, every time you see evidence of God’s reign (freedoms won, kindnesses given, justice prevailing, suffering alleviated) take a picture! Capture it in time! Bring your pictures to church each week and let’s create a collage on the wall in the Zion Fellowship Hall called “Thy Kingdom Come!” Let’s comfort each other with the evidence that there is good to be found everywhere, and that God is very near.
When we put them all together, our pictures will tell the story of the movement of God in the life of the community of faith called Zion.
Together, we will create a picture that is worth a thousand words.
Happy Hunting! <><
The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand… Mark 1:15