Silver Frame

close up of old black and white photos of a young girl in an angel costume and a church

Pictures—Sometimes they reflect who we are and sometimes they represent what we wish we were.

There are five people in the picture. It appears to be a mother and father possibly in their fifties and three children. Two young adults and one preteen girl. A happy family from maybe the late nineteen fifties.

The child is giving the mother/grandmother figure, who is seated, a hug and the three other figures are leaning toward each other. They stand behind the mother and child figures. The focus is the magnetism of each subject to the other subject as if they are being pulled together into one unifying force.

The subjects could be a young grandparent couple with their son and daughter-in-law and grandchild or complete strangers. I’ve been asked who the family is and I have to say, I don’t know, but…

It isn’t a picture from the seventies. The people in my picture have pretty summer dresses. Women from the seventies all dress as if they’ve barely survived a grizzly bear attack. Many families from that era are fragmented if not torn apart, they are not drawn together.

The picture sits waiting until I find a picture to fit the frame. The picture has no relationship to any of the other pictures on my shelf. There is the picture of my mother’s racehorse from the late fifties, Baby Dumpling aka Light O’ Day, the next picture is my mother as perhaps ten years old, sitting on a field plow with the horses Bobby and Danny hitched on the front.

The final two pictures jump several years, one to my sister’s graduation picture, and lastly a few years later a picture of my grandparents and their dog, Mike taken on the east side of their yard.

Pictures—Sometimes they reflect who we are and sometimes they represent what we wish we were.

The favorite Bible verse in years gone by was John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Now we jump to a new favorite verse Matthew 7:1  “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” What does this say about ‘us’? And what does it mean?

In John 3:16 we acknowledged the love of God, and we didn’t want to perish, but have everlasting life…in heaven. In Matthew 7:1 we just want God and everyone else to leave us alone to our own stupidity.

There are several immutable facts our current world either doesn’t want to know or (at this juncture in their life) they think they don’t care. Fact number one? There is a God and he sets the standards of morality.

You don’t have to agree with it and you don’t have to care about it. It just is what it is. Fact number two? God still loves the world, his only begotten son, Jesus, was given that we could (through belief and obedience to that belief) have everlasting life in heaven.

Fact number three? We can all be left to our own stupid devices…here, on this earth—But the sister verse that goes with Matthew 7:1 is John 7:24  “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.”

Righteous judgment comes from God and his Word. We can’t foolishly follow blind guides that pluck scriptures out of context and wave them like a flag. God doesn’t leave us down here without a moral guide.

Fact number four and random facts? We will all have everlasting life—Somewhere. We are all broken and need John 3:16 in order that we can claim Matthew 7:1 and John 7:24 and spend our everlasting life in heaven.

Fact number next, don’t be deceived, everyone who dies is not necessarily ‘in a better place’—Just because we can no longer ‘see’ them. And flash news release, no one on this earth will reach heaven doing it their way…addendum, no one will just wake up in heaven, as in Surprise! How did I get here?

When John the Baptizer said: Repent and be baptized, put away your sins, and bring forth fruits worthy of repentance? Yeah, he meant all of us, like you and me—all of us.

Job 19:25  For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:

26  And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:

27  Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.

28  But ye should say, Why persecute we him, seeing the root of the matter is found in me?

29  Be ye afraid of the sword: for wrath bringeth the punishments of the sword, that ye may know there is a judgment.