Are you a picture person? I most definitely am. If I had all the time in the world and allowed myself to use it on any one thing, I would probably spend it looking through pictures. Not only do I love looking at them, I love creating online picture books, scanning in old pictures, posting pictures to Facebook and tagging people who would get the biggest kick out of them. Especially now that we have digital cameras that allow you to take 47 pictures in a row just to get the perfect shot, I could spend hours on my computer weeding out the ones with closed eyes and blurry features, while narrowing in on the one with the perfect lighting, smiles, and expressions.
Just recently, my laptop became so full of pictures, that I had absolutely no memory left! I decided that something needed to be done to move them onto a storage device and protect them from possible corruption. Imagine my surprise when I found that just my 2010 folder was almost 30 GB. No wonder my computer had no memory–MY memories were stealing it all!
What an amazing gift we have been given to be able to capture our moments of greatest joy and keep them forever: pictures of my childhood and school years, of my newborn children and of them growing up, birthday parties and holiday gatherings, wedding pictures and family trips. These pictures can easily bring tears of joy with the flood of memories, and tears of sadness for the loved ones I can only see in pictures now.
It is perhaps my love for pictures that has profoundly impacted my love for art. A couple of weeks ago, I went to South Carolina on a trip to visit the publishing company that produces much of our elementary program’s curriculum. While I was there, our group was taken to the Bob Jones University Museum and Gallery which contains the 2nd largest collection of religious art in the world (second only to the Vatican)! I have never considered myself an “art buff”, but I found myself shocked by the emotion that each painting stirred in me–particularly the paintings of Jesus with Mary and Jesus at His crucifixion. These artists may not have had digital cameras and photographs for reference, but each had a crystal clear picture in his head about the scene he was depicting. While we may not know exactly what Jesus looked like, we have artwork such as these that cause us to imagine, reflect on, and remember Christ’s birth, life, and ultimately His sacrifice. These “pictures” were worth way more than a thousand words.
Genesis 1:1 tells us “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” What an amazing picture God had in His head for creation and how grateful I am that we can enjoy his masterpiece. I’m struck that I can find such joy and amazement in something that took 6 days to speak into being, 4 years to create like the Sistine Chapel, 10 minutes to create like my 5 year old’s latest drawing, or .5 seconds to create like my latest snapshot of my baby girl. Ultimately, each is to be enjoyed and treasured for the memories they give us and the praise we can give our God for such a simple blessing.
What a great picture of God’s love for us that He would give us such a powerful gift. That picture is truly worth more than a thousand words of praise!