I look into this blurry, grainy image from the past and I remember. My older sister came home from college to spend time with the family when my older brother returned from US Navy Basic Training. My mom and dad were very proud of their son. The three of us are looking at mom and dad while dad snaps the picture.
Strangely enough, we are also looking at our three younger siblings. They are not part of our siblings photo. Whose chose to exclude them? Who chose to separate us? Does it matter?
If you look up to the top of my blog, you will see a different photo snapped by a different father many years later. My children are all laughing while trying to get close enough together for me to capture a moment.
But back in 1978, the photo snapped by our father is left wanting. We say a picture’s worth a thousand words.
I hear my dad and mom say, “Smile!”
I hear them complain when I do not comply.
I hear my skinny 18-year-old angst in my head. Just snap the effin’ picture already.
I think if I saw that young man walking into youth group or, for that matter, just walking into my life today, I would tell him its okay if you don’t want to smile. Its okay.