Sunday, August 26, 2012

Box of old photos

10:30 p.m. Today's project was to go through a box of old, very old, pictures my dad had brought over to my house last weekend along with his file cabinets. I busied myself dividing the pictures my sister had given Daddy through the years from ones I'd given him, of ourselves and our children, from infancy through adulthood. I even found childhood pictures of my sister and me, as well as photos from 1950's and 60's of my mom, dad, aunts and uncles. Some, like the photo below of me, wearing the then-stylish middle-parted, long straight hair, with my younger sister and  cousins when I was a sophomore at UCLA, are cute and fun to look at.
Others, like a photo of my son Sean and me with my first husband and step-daughters, evoke sorrow and pain for a marriage that ended tragically before I became a Christian. Very hard to look at! On this the second day of the Harvest Crusade, which included a clip of my former pastor and evangelist Greg Laurie telling of the loss of his older son Christopher in a car accident 4 years ago, I came upon the Grace Baptist Pre-K class picture of 1980, which included Sean and "Topher" Laurie. And there stood my friend Debbie Sharick, then a 19-year-old teacher's aide who had to keep those two mischief-makers corralled! I would love to have that picture bring me undiminished joy like that on my little son's face, but life, no, death, stepped in to taint the memory. But death's sting is only temporary, as is my melancholy mood, because I Corinthians 15:54-55 (NLT) says,
Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled:
"Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?"
The answer for mankind, as Greg pointed out with a Holy Spirit anointing that drew thousands onto the field at Anaheim Stadium, is to accept Jesus Christ as one's Lord and Savior.
Later, after our guests went home and I put Steve to bed, I was moved tremendously by the Gospel Music Channel's premiere Christian movie "Somebody's Child," where one twin boy was given up for adoption at birth, while his brother stayed with their mother.  They meet as adults, one having spent time in the foster system after his adopted parents divorced and had done jail time for vehicular manslaughter; the other became a successful restaurant owner. I could not control my tears as I watched that movie-- twice. 
Perhaps I was sorrowing over mistakes I made as a young mom, which consequences still resonate today.Yet I know that God redeems and heals, even if healing isn't instantaneous and forgiveness, especially of oneself, may be a long time coming. I will choose to trust in the Lord my God, who, according to Psalm 147:3,
...heals the broken in heart, and binds up their wounds.
And I'll close with this assurance from Malachi 4:2:
But to you who fear My name
The Sun of Righteousness shall
With healing in His wings.
Thank you, Lord! I love you!

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