Monday, December 14, 2015

Picture Perfect

"This is real love—not that we loved God, 
but that he loved us
and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins."
1 John 4:10 NLT

My husband's dear, brave cousin let our son Wolfgang use her camera one summer when we all went on a photo walk together. I remember feeling an extreme mix of terror and curiosity the entire walk; terror that he would drop this extremely expensive camera and curiosity because we would finally have a tangible way to see how HE sees life. 

Weeks went by after the photo walk and I ended up forgetting about the whole thing. But when the pictures finally arrived, all I felt was excitement. I didn't realize how much I hungered to better understand our son's perspective. Guesses flew through my head of what the first picture would be. What did he find beautiful? What did he think was worth preserving? What angle does he look at life from? 

I opened the envelope and there, right on top of the pile, staring back at me were one and a half very familiar eyes. I couldn't stop the giggle from tumbling out of my mouth as I took it all in. His first picture was of me. It was so funny to see how he chose to capture me. He is quite a bit shorter than me but he still shot for the moon and caught the faux shock in my eyes, the pronounced rise of my eyebrows and flop of my un-done, feathery hair. 

That was the only picture of me. He didn't make a mistake - that was the shot he wanted to capture. It struck me beyond the initial giggle. All the things I worry about when I look in the mirror at myself didn't even occur to him. He loves me in a way that surprises and grounds me.

It reminds me of how God loves us - beyond all our insecurities, pre-conceived notions and poses. He loves who we are in every moment. The disciple John reminds us how far beyond our definition of love God loves us:
"This is REAL LOVE - not that we loved God but that HE loved US and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins." (1 John 4:10 NLT)
The constraints that our human minds have placed "love" in don't even come close to God's love for us. He speaks about his love for us in terms of eternal, irreplaceable sacrifice. He loves us in a deep knowledge of everything we are, including the number of hairs on our head. He doesn't need us to count to three and say "cheese" to capture something wonderful in us. He loves each angle, each pore, each chin, each blemish... everything. He loved us enough to send his son to die for our un-retouched selves.

This week, I challenge you to take a Wolfgang-inspired photo of each of your loved ones. Capture something unique and deeply loved about them. No posing allowed! Then, get them developed and share them all together at Christmas.

And while you're all together still soaking in the joy of seeing yourself dearly loved from a new angle, read together about God's love for you from one of the Gospels... Real Love. Messy haired, manger-birthed, real love.

Pray: Dear Lord, thank you for loving us in ways that we don't even realize are possible. Help us to take the time this season to shower each other in love as you do for us. Let us encourage one another to see beyond our own insecurities and consider how deep your love runs for us. Amen.

- Emily Krill


  1. this is cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! this reminds me of I love love forever

    1. I'm so excited that God used me to bring you joy today!! Thank you for reading. Hugs! :-)

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Great read Emily. I'm envisioning a fall day for that photo walk, but this is awesome for Christmas. Thanks for wrapping this up so neatly.

    1. Thanks, Nick!! I would LOVE to see what Chad captures. Let me know if we can join you guys on a photo walk (any time of year)!!