The lady in the middle wearing the brown cap is my wife. She has been with me for nineteen years of marriage. We dated well over four years before that. The first time I saw her was in 1990 in the parking lot of Towne Boulevard Church of God in Middletown, Ohio.
The young man to her right wearing all black is Luis. I met him in 2010 when Kellie convinced me to take a one-week mission trip to Guatemala. We helped build his family's house. Luis is now a junior at university in the U.S.
During that same trip I met a man who had a major influence on my faith. His name was Larry Renner and the young lady wearing a black t-shirt with fluorescent green embellishment is Larry's niece, Samantha. Sam is an intern with us this summer.
The lady sitting in the chair near the center of the frame is Mercedes. She is being fitted for glasses in this picture for the first time in her life. 2 years ago I worked with the Breiel Church from Middletown, Ohio and we built a home for Mercedes and her 3 children.
The gentleman with his elbow bent and hand over his heart is Pastor Tim Kufeldt of the Dayspring Church of God in Ohio. He and his wife are former missionaries to Japan. He is now my overseeing pastor for ordination and a mission partner.
This is how God sees our lives.
A little boy from Somerville, Ohio, a little girl from Trenton, Ohio, a little boy from Campenero, Guatemala, a little girl from West Chester, Ohio, a little girl from Labor de Falla, Guatemala, and a little boy from Tavares, Florida...
...each of them separated by culture, history, decades of time, distance, education, financial standing, religion, society, language, and just plain ole' what are the odds type stuff...
...united in this singular moment. It is likely that we will never all gather in this same place again. But today we stood together on the concrete of a little school where our belief in God resulted in a beautiful shared afternoon.
Sometimes we get so lost in the day to day grind of our lives. And yet... when we open our eyes to the moments of our days, we see a beautiful panorama that is a sweeping of the eye of God from one end of our timeline to the other.
My God takes the best pictures.