Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: PHOTOS and/or SOUVENIR(S) (vacation) (07/16/15)
- TITLE: Looking Back to Look Ahead
By Pat Small
LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
SEND A PRIVATE COMMENT
ADD TO MY FAVORITES
I’ll pass them on, I decided. What a brilliant idea! Then if they are to be thrown away, it will be on someone else’s head. A stack for each child first – all of their pictures and duplicates divvied up as equally as possible. I lingered over each one, having a good laugh at the nervous expression on my son’s face as the parrot’s beak rested so close to his ear, feeling pride as I saw each one with a mortarboard on his head, recalling trips we had enjoyed, and missing some people who no longer were with us. That got rid of a few boxes. Then I started on stacks for friends and relatives. Their photos ought to be discarded or retained, based on their own level of sentimentality, I reasoned.
Having spent seventeen years in Brazil as missionaries, we had accumulated scads of pictures of people and places there. Many faces were only vaguely familiar to me. That made me feel sad. Once upon a time, these people had walked through our lives, many of them in very meaningful ways, others only in passing. Those were divided according to the particular church they had been a part of, and If I didn’t recall, often the dates the developer had printed at the bottom or on the backs of the pictures helped in the process. Those were delivered and happily received. The remainder were scanned and placed in logical divisions on my laptop. Should it ever crash, I won’t feel guilty since I did not purposely dispose of my memories.
Examining the scenery and vacation photos, visions jitterbugged through my mind. There was the indian reservation we visited where the male missionary spoke only German, his wife German and some Poruguese, and we English and a mere smattering of Portuguese. Communication required some effort. We spent the night with one eye half open as the indians sang, drank and smoked in their longhouse just outside our window. There was the hotel we stayed at in the interior that made us think we had strayed into Dodge, with its frame construction and requisite cowboys leaned back in their straight-backed chairs, smoking hand-rolled cigarettes. There were beautiful scenes of Iguacu Falls that are so extensive they touch corners of three countries: Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. I relived the frightening moments when we nearly lost our middle son down the Devil’s Throat, a particularly treacherous area of the falls.
Amongst these hundreds of photos, one of them especially drew my attention. It is a picture of Christ the Redeemer (Cristo Redentor) statue. His loving arms, with a span of ninety-two feet, are spread wide over the magnificent harbor of Rio de Janeiro. I snapped it somewhat hurriedly as the fog was rapidly moving in. The lower half of his body was shrouded, highlighting his head and shoulders, with those loving arms outstretched. It does not evoke memories as much as it depicts hope. As He went away in a cloud, He will return. “And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.” (Mark 13:26) His power and holiness and love, mingled with judgment, come shining through this little picture. The day is coming when He will make everything right.
I had to take a moment from looking back to look ahead, first of all thanking Him that, through it all, He has been and will always be, a constant presence. When He returns and takes us to be with him, pictures and souvenirs will no longer be necessary. We will be face to face with loved ones and friends, and with our best friend, Jesus Christ for all eternity.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be right now. CLICK HERE
JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.