I have a photograph of myself that I like to keep as "Motivation" (read: punishment). It is from a million years ago when I was 21 and my husband and I were visiting the Grand Canyon. What is interesting about it is that I am unbelievably skinny. And so the "motivation" (read: torture). I like to drag it out every so often to "motivate" me to get back to that weight, that happier time (as if weighing close to nothing is a remedy for stress). But here is where the truth of the photo comes in: I used to be skinny. Now I'm not. Hmmm. Can't deny it. It is right there in black and white (literally).
Okay: another example. My wedding album is filled with truly gorgeous pictures of truly happy people. Except for one. The photo that my sister decided to show up for clearly communicates the tensions in my side of the family. There we all are, "smiling". But the mood in that picture is in stark contrast to the genuine love my family is exuding in every other picture. You can tell by her 'smile' that she would rather be any where else, and you can tell by our 'smiles' that we are well aware that she would rather be any where else but we don't quite know what to do about it.
Okay: another example. How about a happy one this time. I am holding my wee baby girl at the local fall fair in the baby competition (yes, I realize that is a little pathetic) and I am smiling. Really smiling. The smile of a woman content with her choice to change her mind and want another baby even though she knows it is going to be hard, tiring work, but who understands there is a joy to be had here in just holding this little one and showing her off (and all that she represents) to the whole world. (I hope you are okay with run-on sentences...). The truth in this photo is that I can see that when I do what the Lord puts on my heart to do, I have that look of contentment all over me because it is oozing out from the inside.
It is kind of like the Bible. The Word is compared to a mirror in that when we read the Word our true selves are revealed. So, I can't keep saying to myself "I've always been fat and so I'll always be fat" now that I've seen that skinny picture. In the same way, I can't say "God will never forgive me for that" now that I've read His promises to forgive. The Beauty of Photographs, is that they truly represent who we once were, where we once went, what we once saw. The Beauty of the Word is that it truly conveys the Truth of who God is, what He has done, and who we can be through His grace.
Lord, let me use the photos of my history to see your hand in my life. To remind me of who I was, and who You are making me to be. Thank You.