Wallet Photos

July 23, 2010 by Jong Park

I took my mother to the hospital yesterday. She needed some help with translating documents, etc. At registration, a nurse asked for her insurance card. She had forgotten her glasses so I fished through her wallet for her. That’s when I saw it. A photo of my brother and me… when we were 8 and 10 years old. I chuckled and she gave me a half smile. It dawned on me that she’s been carrying our photos around for over three decades. What can I say? That’s a mother’s love.

I wonder how many times she’s looked at those pictures, soothed by the balm of nostalgia. When I was going through my teenage foolishness and she wanted to remember me in kinder times? Perhaps when she sat in her empty nest when both of us left for college? I’m almost positive she stared at those baby-fat rosy-cheeked faces when her boys got married. I’m sure to her, no matter how old we get, she sees us as those little boys in the photo in her wallet, even if they are married with children.

A parents’ love is so touching, so deep, and so profound. Donald Miller writes in his book To Own a Dragon, spouses learn to love each other but an instant love fills the heart of a new parent. It is a fitting imagery that God is to be called “Father” (Matthew 6:9) for he cannot help but to love his children. He could not leave us in our lostness so he sent His Son to rescue and redeem us into his family. I’m sure God’s wallet, if you will, is filled with many of our pictures.

But here’s the thing. I think His photos would not only be of our younger years. He would also have pictures of what we are going to become. An earthly parent can only reminisce, albeit fondly, of what we used to be. Our heavenly father can empower us by his Spirit to be what we can become. He is redeeming us to be people who look more like Jesus with each passing day. His wallet is not only filled with reflective photos of yesteryears but progressive ones of glory to come. My earthly mother has the power of loving reflection. My Father above has the power of supernatural transformation. If we know this, we can be thankful for what God has done and hopeful for what He will do. He’s got a picture of it in his wallet.

And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:18)

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