As I write this, I’m sprawled out on the bed that belongs to my sixteen year old cousin, Lauren.
Looking around her room, I see photos of her and me in various stages of her life. There is one of us sticking our tongues out when she is around two years old. Another one at a wedding when she is about four or five. There’s even a photo of her with my dad when she was a little bitty baby. Mixed in with these photos are trinkets that I’ve given to her over the years – a hat, a scarf, and hand-painted ceramics.
These knick knacks and photographs not only bring back a rush of memories, but they bring with them a humbling reminder that she carries me in her heart even though we only get to see each other a few times a year.
It makes me wonder. Does God have photos of us scattered around His Heavenly Home? Is there a mantel in the New Jerusalem littered with moments in our life that He holds dear? I wonder if He and Jesus take strolls down memory lane reflecting on where we’ve been and where we are going.
There’s a wedding snapshot in a silver frame. Only this snapshot is not of your earthly wedding but is a photograph snapped at the very moment you kneeled before your Savior and became the bride of Christ.
There is another of your first baby steps of faith. Can you see Him, the proud Father, smiling in the background?
There is another photograph in a shiny red frame. It’s a snapshot of when you fell off your bicycle of belief. That’s Jesus bending next to you with his nail-scarred hands firmly under your arms lifting you up and encouraging you to try again.
Photo after photo lines the mantel top documenting each struggle, victory and milestone. In the center of all these precious moments, there is one bigger than the others. One photo more prominently placed.
You barely recognize yourself standing on a cliff with one foot on solid ground and the other in mid-air. Tears are streaming down your fright-filled face and briefly you remember the prayer of hope that was on your lips. “I’m trusting you, Lord. Don’t let me fall.” This is the moment you stepped out in obedience to Him; the moment you took your first leap of faith. And just like the others, Jesus is in the photo. He’s standing right beside you. You remember His reassuring words: “Don’t worry, Child, I will catch you.” Glancing into the lower right hand corner, you see a righteous right hand, strong and steady, waiting to catch you.
And don’t you know that when God glances at the photo, He smiles, nudges Jesus and says, “Remember that day? I was so proud of her!”