Wednesday, September 8, 2010

God's Photo Shop

My husband and I just had our picture taken for our church directory. Both of us were really dreading having to go in to the photographer's. Wes was dreading it because he's not big on dressing up ... or smiling. It's not that he's a cranky guy. He's just not a "smiler". I, on the other hand, have all of these wrinkles laugh lines covering my face. I am extremely expressive. Once in a Bible study, I had a guy tell me that he just loved to watch my face as I talked. He never paid attention to anything I said -- he just liked to watch my face contort into all of its rubbery expressions. I think he meant that as a compliment? At least, that's how I chose to take it.  Anyway, I wasn't looking forward to having our picture taken because this will be our first directory as an "empty nest" couple. There wouldn't be any smiling, toothless grins (unless something drastic happened to Wes or me) ... no working with unsmiling teens who didn't want to be there ... no coordinating outfits for the whole family. Just Wes and me. And neither of us were too excited about going through this anyway.

We dutifully made our appointment and went to the photographer (basically because we're both cheapskates and we didn't want to have to pay for a directory. Everyone who had their picture taken got a free one). Our photographer asked us if we wanted some casual poses, like sitting barefoot on the floor. Right. Poor delusional man. We smiled at him and tried really hard not to let him know the huge amount of pity we felt for him. Since we are a middle-aged couple, we promptly axed that suggestion, basically because we knew there would be a serious possibility that we wouldn't be able to get up OFF of the floor. On top of that, my toenail polish desperately needed a touch-up and I was unprepared for my feet to be showing in the picture. "No, we'll just take the traditional, classic old-fogey poses, please." We smiled ... turned our heads this way ... held our shoulders that way ... sucked in our tummies ... and acted like we had a marvelous time. I was determined to not buy any of the pictures, but to just pick the pose for our now-free directory and leave. Wes had other ideas. Wes won.

Now that we've gotten the pictures back, I've got to say that I'm grateful Wes insisted on buying pictures. Yes, he was right and I was wrong. (For the record, he told me to write that last statement.) First of all, we actually look kind of cute as a couple. Sometimes it's easy to forget that we were a couple first BC (Before Children). We started out that way -- we're ending up that way, and honestly ... we look kind of cute that way! Secondly, I want to say I'm thankful for Photo Shop. If only Wal-Mart could bottle that as a cosmetic! Our photographer turned back the clock and we looked 20 years younger. We seriously don't look like we've lived through the teen years -- four different times! I don't know if he appreciated it, but I asked Jeff (he's become my dear and personal friend) to come and apply my make-up every day so I could look like my picture.

The strangest thing about all of this, though, is the fact that God taught me through all of our photographic experiences. I've been going on and on (and on and on!) about the fact that we look so much younger in our picture. The photographer, with his Photo Shop, was a true miracle worker (in my humble opinion). Then, God reminded me that HE has Photo Shopped my life. What started as a not-so-pretty canvas, God is turning in to a beautiful masterpiece. He's working to remove the impurities and uglies ... adding his beauty and grace ... and constantly striving to change my inner being from what it was to what He knows it can be. Do you know what's even better than that? As long as I'm living, He'll continue working. This isn't a one-shot picture, but a lifetime canvas. God is not finished with me ... thank You, Father! And then? We'll take it in to eternity, where He'll finish the job. :o)

It's funny, isn't it, the different ways that God teaches us?!? In the meantime, we rejoice that God is the True Photo Shopper (and we're thankful for good photographers here on earth, too!).

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