When my father's closets and office were cleaned out, nearly 30 of his photo albums came to me, and I've been scanning them gradually whenever I can.
It's quite an experience, to see one's life, and the life of the whole family, and of friends, go by in fast-forward, as it were. You think things like, "Ah, that was the minister before he was out of the closet," and, "This was Mark before he had any idea he'd become the father of three..." and, "Here's the guy who in his old age ended up in prison and died there," and ,"Here's the Korean orphan Mom and Dad 'adopted,'" and you know what the young girl in the picture doesn't: that she will marry an American soldier and come to live in America. You see patterns you may not have noticed when life was proceeding at its normal, comparatively slow pace. You see tons of pictures of some people, not enough of other people. You notice looks on faces and body language and you say, "I might have known!" You see people you miss and people you don't and people you even wish had never entered your life, except then you remember that our God who loves us so tenderly would never have let them into our lives if it weren't something from which we could reap spiritual profit, so in the end you're glad for every, every, everything.
I thought I'd share a very few pictures with you that come with a story. Here's the first.
Here's a snapshot of Barbara and me, with a bird on Barbara's finger, just transferred from mine. This was taken at our cousin's outdoor wedding reception in about 1981. Barbara and I had just boggled the minds of the company by approaching this bird, who was sitting in a hedge singing, and when we called to it, right there in front of everyone, he hopped onto my finger, and then Barbara's.
Nobody knew it was a bird I had raised, and Barbara and I, sneaking around the back side of the hedge, had put the bird there, surreptitiously, a few moments before.