portraits

Carl and I had the pleasure of spending Saturday afternoon with some dear friends.

We talked.

We ate.

We caught up.

We laughed.

We reminisced.

We were joined by others and talked and laughed some more.

As I was uploading photos last night,

a few quick snaps taken before Carl and I left the comfort of that warm lodge

to drive home through blinding rain,

I surveyed those portraits.

3 couples.

6 individuals lives.

6 hearts joined.

So many stories represented in those 6  lives.

Some are common knowledge.

Some I am sure remain unspoken.

Paths hiked through harsh terrain.

Some roads unimaginable.

What struck me (other than the fact that

my husband looked so cute) was that we have

remained.

We have continued to stand.

We are all still smiling.

Not the strained smile of pretense but the deeply etched  grin of

those who know the Lord as strength.

Not the smoke and mirror appearance of standing,

but an uplifted posture from rehearsing

God’s promises.

It’s not about the outside but

what resides inside.

He won’t ever abandon us.

He won’t leave us as orphans.

He will provide refuge and strength.

He will come to us when we call.

He stands at the ready to defend and comfort.

He will be found by us.

In the day of calamity, He will be our stay.

Yes, fine lines and silvery  follicles

expose our years and some have exchanged waistlines

and some have not {UNFAIR :)}.

We are His vessels.

For His purposes.

For His glory.

I could photo shop any number of people into those places

and the stories would be different yet the same.

Perhaps you  picture yourself standing shoulder to

shoulder with us.

You are welcome.

The sharp edge of life comforted by the gentle King and

fellow travelers.

In the midst of our visit, we met a dear  man who played football with

my father in college.

What in the small world?!

I still have no idea how that connection was uncovered.

In this small world in which we live and move and

have our being, the largeness of God invades.

I am reminded.

History is important.

It is what connects families and friends.

It is what causes us to feel known and cherished despite

our blunders and bad hair choices.

We can review our histories and make a judgment.

Some years we want to forget and certain decades we eagerly embrace.

God on the other hand, looks at our history from the telescoping lens

of knowing its entirety.

What has been written and what has yet to be inked.

The best part of this particular history lesson is  the realization at each juncture,

we can point and know that

God has been found…

good

present

involved

active

loving

faithful

absolute

true.

I carry the portrait of the weekend.

We can all carry the portrait that is engraved in scripture:

We are not preaching about ourselves. 
Our message is that Jesus Christ is Lord.
 He also sent us to be your servants. 
The Scriptures say, 
"God commanded light to shine in the dark."
 Now God is shining in our hearts to let you know 
that his glory is seen in Jesus Christ.
We are like clay jars in which this treasure is stored.
The real power comes from God and not from us. 
We often suffer, but we are never crushed. 
Even when we don't know what to do, we never give up. 
In times of trouble, God is with us, 
and when we are knocked down, 
we get up again. 
We face death every day because of Jesus. 
Our bodies show what his death was like, 
so that his life can also be seen in us. 
This means that death is working in us, 
but life is working in you.
We never give up. 
Our bodies are gradually dying, 
but we ourselves are being made stronger each day. 
These little troubles are getting us ready for an eternal glory 
that will make all our troubles seem like nothing.

II Corinthians 4: 5-12, 16-17 (CEB)
 
 
Advertisements

2 thoughts on “portraits

  1. Jill M says:

    What comfort and assurance that God knows my Whole story! There isn’t any part that His hand is not guiding and directing and editing. I am so glad you are part of my history Helen, I have been sorting old photos this week and you and your family have sifted through my hands and the memories have been so sweet. Remember hiking to Benham Falls over here? Time for you all the come this way again soon!

    Like

  2. I am so blessed that we have shared history and still more years to add to the memories.
    That was a beautiful trip…lots of walking, blue skies, sunny weather and precious friends!

    Like

Go ahead and make my day! Leave a comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s