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Reading Between the Pictures

Reading Between the Pictures

written by Myra Braswell July 2, 2019

If you are like me, you probably enjoy reading or looking at magazines. This is especially true if they feature home decorating ideas, recipes, and perhaps a do-it-yourself project or two. I just love trying out the little tips on organization, making the most of small spaces, setting a holiday table, baking braided bread, or how to make a shabby-chick silverware caddy from an old sewing machine drawer; and the pictures, oh, don’t you just love the perfect pictures?

Sound Familiar?

Within a very few moments the delicious looking feast, the carefully crafted project, or the well-appointed room have lured you into exploring the pages and have captivated your attention. You find yourself completely drawn in and before you realize it, you have made your way nearly through the entire magazine. You run to find your scissors, and carefully consider clipping and saving some of your favorite pictures from selected pages. You now feel completely inspired and have a spark of enthusiasm for creating your own picture-perfect setting, crafted masterpiece, or culinary delight. Sound familiar?

It is said that “A picture is worth a thousand words.” This English adage suggests that with just a single picture, a complex idea can more effectively and adequately be conveyed than it might otherwise have been by a wordy explanation or description. Simply put what people see from you in character and action says so much more than what you say verbally. This is so important for us to remember as Christian wives, mothers, sisters, and daughters.
We have the power to make a substantial impact for Christ merely by being the living personification of Him; in essence the picture of Christ!

A Depiction of Christ

Oh, my dear beloved, that we would be such a beautiful depiction of Christ that our very lives would draw people in to learn all they can of Him, to experience Him personally, and to try living life in every detail according to His divine plan.  Ephesians 4:20-24 says, “in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is, being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.” Our lives should be framed by His love; and the portrait of Christ is clearly and obviously on display for the world to hold within their gaze.

There is a poem that truly puts this concept into perspective. In his poem, Sermons We See, Edgar Guest writes,

“I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day; I’d rather one should walk with me that merely tell the way.”

He continues to explain the value of a life lived in evidence of God, and how one’s witness is substantiated and validated much more profoundly and effectively by the way it is lived out, rather than with words. I agree!Our lives are being observed and read each and every day by those around us, sometimes without us even realizing it! Guest concludes his poem this way,

“the lecture you deliver may be very wise and true, but I’d rather get my lessons by observing what you do; for I might misunderstand you and the high advice you give, but there’s no misunderstanding
how you act and how you live.”

What a picture!

Christ-Like

Jesus challenged us in this way in Matthew 5:48 saying, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as you’re Father which is in heaven is perfect.” He was not telling us to never make a mistake. He is very aware of our human nature and knows that we will occasionally have times when we fail. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

We will miss the mark sometimes. However, Jesus was telling us to strive to live with integrity and pattern our lives after His example, character, and conversation. In 1 Peter1:16 it says, “But as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, be ye holy; for I am holy.” What a lofty goal to aspire to,
but one that should be our daily objective and goal. Being Christian is to be Christ-like!

Can Christ be Found on Every Page?

On January 4 th, 1883 a 37-year-old illustrator used his $10,000 inheritance to launch a weekly magazine from his New York City artist’s studio. The magazine was a masterful work in photojournalism that established it as an iconic piece of American history. Because of the enormity of its success, with the pictures being the most compelling magazine
feature, it remained in circulation weekly until 1972. After being suspended for a few years, it returned in 1978 monthly, continuing the tradition as an American all- photographic news publication. Throughout the 20 th century, some of the most well-known imagery and most notable pictures have come from its pages, Life Magazine. The year-in-review edition scrapbooked the most notable moments in politics, culture, the arts, and the American life experience annually, highlighting and featuring them magnificently throughout its pages.

Let me ask you a question. If you could look back over your own life and capture in pictures your personal version of Life Magazine’s Year-In-Review edition, how many of its pages would Christ show up on? Would He be clearly evident and obvious across the pages of your life? Would the pages draw people in because there is such beauty found there, or a model to live by, or a message of hope and promise from which to craft a newfound perspective and faith?

The stated themed motto established from the very first edition of Life Magazine was this, “Where there is Life, there is hope.” Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh to the Father but by me.” (John 14:6) If we want to give real life to those who are reading our story, then we have to make sure that Christ can be found on every page!

Be Worth the Read

We want to share a message of hope with our world! We want Christ to be all over every page of our own Life Magazine! We have a story to tell! We want to give hope to all those who see our life lived out in front of them. We want others to be able to “read” Christ clearly between the pictures! We want Him to be the visible beauty that is captured on every page. Jeremiah 31:33 says, “But this is the covenant I will make, I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.” What is written on your heart today? Does a well-spring of joy and hope burst from the pages of your life in brilliant color? Oh, dear women of God, it should! We have Life to display!

I challenge you to be worth the read! Be the “magazine” that grabs the world’s attention and lures them to want to look further! Have them scavenging the “junk” drawer of their hearts for those scissors so they can cut, clip, save, and stick on their refrigerator door something of beauty, purpose, meaning, and hope to inspire them and motivate them to their own life in Christ! Show them the reality of 1 Peter 1:3 which says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” Our lives should be that for those who read it, because Christ should be in every picture! He is LIFE! (John 10: 10b) Jesus says, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” Amen!

Get the Picture?

Read also: Leave a little sparkle wherever you go

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