They tell stories.
Every December, the stream of Christmas photo cards of friends and family trickle into my mailbox. In this age of digital communication, the paper photos become more than traditional comforts. They provide a liturgical lens through which I see God working.
The photos remind me what’s been going on behind the scenes. Some speak of drastic changes. New children make their debuts. Marriage celebrations provide a backdrop of new unions. Landscapes change. Kids get older.
Some of the changes speak of heartache. Children, mothers, and spouses missing from the photos remind me how quickly life can change. That we travel lightly here. Yet, even if it means walking with wobbly legs, steps forward took place.
I am also aware of the “invisible” struggles beneath the smiling faces. Strained marriages. Chronic illness. Mental health challenges. Job loss. Challenging relationships with young adult children. And the collective “hard” we all faced in a year that made us feel dizzy from a spinning landscape.
So, as my eyes absorb the images in front of me, my heart, I remember that God is in it all. That we don’t all face the same seasons of life at the same time. But we do share the aches and pains of living in a place that is longing to be filled with “the very good.” And we rotate walking alongside one another, sometimes resorting to carrying, if necessary.
These cards tell stories of our humanity whose moments are never out of God’s sight. Resurrection is always at work. We all need the reminder.
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