Snap – Flash – Click. Shutter opens. Closes. Flash of light. Click. Click. Click. The weary buttons beg for reprieve as the merciless index finger presses down with vigor. Breath catches and together we are caught between capturing and savoring the moment. When my eye lands on something that sparks my heart, my hand involuntarily lifts my camera to capture the moment. Through the years, my heart has been gathering snapshots that mark my trail as breadcrumb snippets that lead me back to the memory. As a child, the sweet joyful moments speckled in through the dark chaos. The snapshots I took were mostly those imprints that warmed my heart. These shots were few. Bare, sweet stolen moments of wonder sprinkle the pages of my childhood album. Memories of my childhood are slim. Though frustrating at times, I have come to recognize this as a gift to not dwell on the darkness of the past but instead, bring to recall the good things. Homemade bread, fantastic home sewed Halloween costumes, warm dinners and books aplenty are some of those good things.
One memory is tucked away as one of my most cherished. At the end of the aisle, my future husband stood with tears perched on his lower eyelid. A quivering solid arm is extended to me and together my Dad and I walk towards my future. Walking down the aisle, we clumsily reach for each other as husband and wife with all the flaws and imperfections within that grasp. Days into our marriage we basked in the sunlight of Hawaii being tossed about by the waves of building a relationship, learning to communicate and walk in synch with each other. We had begun that awkward journey of becoming one. We were two colliding into one another to become one. It was a messy business. The waves continue to roll in and the sun set for almost thirty years in this journey. Now, almost 30 years later we are en-route to Hawaii once again. This time, we fill two rows and we are surrounded by three of our daughters and looking to reconnect with more family when we get there. The journey has picked up other travelers along the way and we continue to become one in the midst of the clutter of daily life. Looking out at the expanse that is below I catch my breath at the beauty of the fuzzy pink cotton candy sky, cuddling with the periwinkle saying its goodbyes to the resplendent glory of the dazzling golden beams that had just stretched across the skies and reflected off the hard metal of the wings of the plane. The reflected glory of the sun slowly slips off the cold, hard wing. I smirk as a thought crosses my heart as I gaze on this picture. We are the reflected glory of our Savior. My hand rises to take the picture. It is a joining of my senses. From behind the camera that specific frame is exactly the state where I want to remember it. My fingers are eager to bring to permanence the beauty and the memory of this moment. Drinking it in, we are all snapping pictures in our row.
Saved for Instagram, filed away to share on FB or simply for our own enjoyment, we snap.
My heart is taking snapshots through the lens of my camera. It is irresistible for me. Longing to embrace and hold onto each moment to savor richly and deeply ~ I immobilize the picture. Turning to Mikayla and Meghan I try to explain why it is that I love to apprehend this beauty and God’s glory in His creation. “ I love capturing His beauty.” The words sink into my soul as I look at two of our girls. It dawns on me and I speak it out loud: “That’s why I love taking pictures of all you guys. You are all so diverse in your beauty and a total gift from God. Strikingly beautiful and it catches my heart and has me longing to seize that moment.” They smile. They understand.
I can’t even describe the overwhelming ache that rises up within me when I revel in the gift the Lord has given to this becoming one thing with Kevin. We are becoming one and in doing so, we have made a measure of many who will one day become one with their own soul-mate. I love each frame of this journey together and look forward to each snapshot yet to be taken. As with photographs, some pictures are taken out of focus or not enough light and those ones don’t need to be prominent in our lives but will serve as a reminder for how we WANT to frame our lives. The pictures we will keep in our memory will chart our course in days to come.
As we step onto the soil of Hawaii yet again, I join hands with Kevin looking back over those almost thirty years and sigh deeply and contentedly even as I look over the waves of doubt, hardship and angst. Together we have traipsed, stumbled, wrestled and sauntered through many sunsets and countless waves. My hand stays still within his IN His. I can’t take a picture of that. I can’t capture the joy that springs eternal when I look back on our years and see the faithfulness of our God. Every step of our journey, we are in the palm of His hand and He has delivered us safely back to revisit our honeymoon island to the place where we began our journey of becoming one. Some things a camera can’t capture. I close my eyes and with a flutter, I allow my mind to rest in this contentedness of His irresistible grace and faithfulness to inscribe deeply in my heart.