Way back when I initially became interested in photography, one of my first photog crushes was Tara Whitney. I immediately fell in awe of her “perfectly, imperfect” philosophy and journalistic style. While following her work on her blog, I stumbled upon this personal project she called “six people twelve times.” And I have been wanting to do our family’s version ever since. That was back in 2010. When there were three. Have tried off & on over the years, but it is harder than it seems to get a decent family snapshot each month. Here we go again. This picture was taken by my sister after Lou’s 5th bday party with family. As you can see little is crashing down hard from her earlier sugar high and all the activity.
I was so excited when I saw how good this picture turned out. I even thought to myself for a moment, “What a perfect little family.” But looks can be deceiving right? I mean, don’t get me wrong. We are extremely happy & abundantly blessed. But those smiles don’t tell the full story. We have suffered years of heartache & pain to get to this point. Holding those two precious ones. But God redeems.
And even now, those smiles hide much brokenness. For each & every one of us. Therein lies the paradox: utterly happy and completely broken. Marred by the fallen nature of this world. Each of us in our own personal struggle against sin. And, as I watch how my own struggle can effect the people whom I love dearly, I am deeply humbled and desperately driven to the cross. And my precious Jesus. And for that I can thank him even for my failures. Daily. Moment by moment. And God redeems.
For like Paul when he pleaded to God three times to remove the thorn from his flesh, I hear the Lord say, “’My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12: 9-10). Yes, God always redeems.
“Christ is building His kingdom with earth’s broken things. Men want only the strong, the successful, the victorious, the unbroken, in building their kingdoms; but God is the God of the unsuccessful, of those who have failed. Heaven is filling with earth’s broken lives, and there is no bruised reed that Christ cannot take and restore to glorious blessedness and beauty. He can take the life crushed by pain or sorrow and make it into a harp whose music shall be all praise. He can lift earth’s saddest failure up to heaven’s glory.” ― J.R. Miller
May it be so in the lives of this family and yours.