Blank Pages

A new project always makes me feel like I am growing. These endeavors might range from creating something to wear, interesting dishes to cook and enjoy, finding new physical goals or trying to organize and make sense of all my photos and recipes that are scattered everywhere. One problem is that I have lots of interests and sometimes there is not enough time, energy or knowledge to finish the project. I was reminded of this dilemma last week.

While staying in a beautiful home in the Washington, DC, area, I picked up a book of photos someone had made. There were pictures inside and outside of the house during the different seasons of the year. The scenes were accompanied with quotes from famous people, poets, authors, and the Bible. Thumbing through the beautiful pages I felt a sense of peace and serenity. Over the past years I had learned that this home is not only beautiful from a designer’s point of view, but it is beautiful because of the people who are part of it and participate in the ministry activities housed there. The saying that a person is “beautiful, inside and out”, resonated with this home.

This experience brought back memories of the one and only photo book I have tried to put together. Three years ago, at a very low time in the life of my family, I ended up with my husband, Bill, in a very beautiful place in Europe. It was not a tourist vacation or a sightseeing adventure. We were there to begin to heal and start walking towards being whole people again. While I was there I began taking pictures on my iPhone– people; places; anything of interest that caught my eye. I got the bright idea of documenting all this in a photo book with some meaningful Bible verses.

Finding the app on my iPad was easy, but immediately I ran into problems. Every few days I would lose part of my work. Finally, I enlisted the help of a 12 year old friend who got me on track. Coming back to the States I continued to have problems, but they seemed to iron out after speaking to a customer service representative. I called them not one, not two, but three times!. After finishing touches I was ready to send my final work of art off to be published. I settled in for the wait.

My first and only photo book arrived at the front door with little fanfare, but I was a little nervous as I opened the manila envelope. What?!?! There was a blank cover. Where was that beautiful picture of the mountains at sunset? When I opened the book there were some pictures and some of the words I had written, but over half were missing. They must have disappeared into cyberspace. I was disappointed that my efforts to recreate beauty in the midst of a dark situation were not successful. I didn’t have the energy to send it back or work on it anymore. I put it on a bookcase and didn’t look at it again; that was, until I did so this week.

I began to compare the book I had seen in the home that I was visiting with my own book. My photo book was not as beautiful or as interesting to a stranger who might open it. My photo book was different, but after studying it for awhile, it began to say something important to me. Looking back at this time, I know now, that there was not any picture or title that would adequately convey this period in our lives. Sometimes there are situations, experiences or thoughts that are not possible to be communicate to others. These times are to be only between God and me. The empty pages and left out script also began to represent the future God wanted to build into my life. He was recreating and writing His lines, not just for that season, but also for the future.

I am starting to like my photo book. It is not what I would have imagined, but it symbolic of what God does in our lives. I might not be able to always clearly document and explain life as it happens, but I am thankful that He is in charge. However, I am still determined to find all my deleted photos in the archives!

“And how blessed all those in whom you live, whose lives become roads you travel; They wind through lonesome valleys, come upon brooks, discover cool springs and pools brimming with rain! God-traveled, these roads curve up the mountain, and at the last turn- Zion! God in full view.” Psalms 84:5-7 (The Message)


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