I’m terrible at remembering to take pictures. I tend to be an in-the-moment kind of girl, and I often reflect on times with my husband and wish we would have snapped a picture of at least one moment. The hikes we’ve taken, the meals we’ve shared, the trips we’ve enjoyed. I have very little documentation of any of them outside of our own memories.
Yes, I probably should have taken more pictures. But can I just clear something up? Pictures are not worth a thousand words. (Trust me, I’m a writer.) Sorry to all my photographer friends.
Pictures are great for recalling memories. Or even sharing with friends and distant relatives about what’s going on with your family. I’m thankful technology allows me to have a camera in my phone (not that I remember to use it).
But pictures don’t tell you the story behind that five-second shot. That picture of your friend’s new baby didn’t show how long they had waited to hold a child of their own in their arms. Or the mounds of paperwork on their adoption journey after years of medical help to get pregnant didn’t work.
That sweet date night photo your friend posted (that made you a tad bit jealous)? It doesn’t show the months of counseling it took to get them back to this point. In fact, it could be the first real date night they’ve had in years.
The moral of the story (um, devotion)? Think twice before comparing your snapshots to someone else’s.
If I snapped a quick photo right now, it would show me happily typing away at my kitchen table while the kids quietly watch a movie together in the living room. But what you wouldn’t see? The arguing and, yes, yelling it took to get them to do their chores to earn that movie. You wouldn’t see the fact that I am working yet another weekend because my daughter has been sick and I’m behind with deadlines.
But it’s all there, behind the photo you’d get to see. Know what else you would see? A five-second moment I’m thankful for.
The good stuff: So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty. For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment. (James 2:12-13)
Action points: On a quick coffee date, pull out the photo albums (or your phone) and look back over any pictures you’ve taken together. What can each of you remember about these photos?
Visit the FamilyLife® Website