Bend, Don’t Break

What a splendid “last minute” Christmas project!  Serendipitous, actually.  I had just finished my last work project and had a couple of days before Christmas when I received a call from the little girl in this picture – a little girl who is now a mom with children of her own.  This photograph had been stored for about 30 years, had never been framed or displayed.

Long ago, life circumstances for these cute children changed, but before those circumstances separated these sweet little ones, this photograph was made –  a photograph that captured a time of sweetness, of love and happiness. 

The original was a large photograph – 16 x 20 and was printed on a heavyweight, textured paper.  As you can see, the damage was significant with tears through both children’s faces. 

The photograph was torn on opposite sides of the photograph which puzzled me at first.  Then I realized that it had torn where you naturally place your hands to pick it up.  While the paper is a beautiful paper, over time it had become hard and brittle.  I found that even the most gentle handling threatened to cause additional damage.

It reminded me of people.  Of real life.  It’s important that we retain a degree of flexibility in our lives.  It’s important that we be willing to bend and flex as we encounter external circumstances that apply stress to our lives.  Without the ability to bend, to flex, to change, we become stiff, fragile, and altogether too easily injured.

So here they are now.  Those sweet little faces smiling back at us as we admire their bright eyes…their little hands….their engaging smiles.  The computer, Photoshop, and a lot of patience can return photographic images to a condition in which they can be shared and ejnojed.  However, brittle people are not quite so easy to “fix”.  When we become hard and brittle in life, true restoration can only take place by the loving touch of our Heavenly Father.

See, I told you, this truly was a “splendid” Christmas project!