By Sarah Anderson
Growing up, I had one of those old blue rectangular Kodak cameras with the orange “point and
shoot” button. It came everywhere with me—including a trip my family took to Disney World.
While there, I captured an image I still have a copy of. As we exited the park, I watched as my
parents—oblivious to our watching— took each other’s hands. At eleven years old, even I
understood—I was witnessing magic. That was worth capturing. So, I snapped a picture.
Two actually. It may sound unremarkable. A small display of affection that caught a kid’s
attention. But I think what I tried to memorialize represented more than a husband and
wife stealing moments of warmth under their children’s watch. To me, it was a stabilizer.
It was a security. It was a chance to exhale a sigh of relief. “There is something right in the world,” it
told me. Love was on display. I am one of the lucky ones—privy to purposeful displays of love
between my parents, observing a good marriage—and ultimately witnessing Jesus in the midst.
But my parent’s 40-year marriage isn’t typical these days—the storybook plotline of familial
bliss is more rare than common But I also know this. All hope is not lost.
Though family circumstances may be less than ideal, our potential to display
something big—for the sake of our kids and in the lives of our kids--
is not diminished. Though our families may look different, though the dream of what we
wanted to be may be a far cry from where we currently are, there is an achievable end for every
one of us—and by extension, our kids. Love—intentional, directed, consistent love. We don’t have
to have perfect circumstances, relationships, marriage, or kids for love to show up and for love
to matter. The world is watching—but also and always, our kids are watching.
What if we gave them something to watch?
To marvel at?
To be intrigued by?
To be inspired to imitate?
What if our love on display matters more than we ever thought?
More than our dysfunction? Disappointment? Disenchantment? Because we never
know who’s observing, desperate for a picture of something good. Something real.
Something magic. In your commitment to display love, you may give someone— especially
those you share a roof with—the opportunity to snap a mental picture of you—and give
them Jesus in the process.
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