The camera was in a box of various cords, chargers, and things with plugs. In the world of digital cameras, it was a bit of a neanderthal, but it worked.
I brought it up to Jonathan and showed it to him. His eyes widened. “I can have it?” he breathed. When I nodded, he squealed.
A camera was at the top of Jonathan’s Christmas list this year. He sifted through sales flyers and circled cameras and asked me about megapixels. But I had to explain to him that he was not going to get a camera for Christmas. Daddy lost his job, I reminded, and there are five kids to buy Christmas presents for, and you’re only eight years old, and, well, maybe next year.
Still, it grieved me that I couldn’t do that thing for him. I watched his face when he asked to use our camera and smiled when he took the umpteenth picture of the cat sleeping in a funny way. I wished I could give him that good gift.
But God knew. Long ago, when that camera was put into the box and forgotten, God knew it would be opened for Jonathan. It seemed to me the camera was meant for Jonathan all along. It was his more than it was ever mine.
Jeff took the camera in his hands and patiently explained to Jonathan how it worked. This was a gift that required a little bit of learning and a whole lot of practice. But then, most of God’s gifts do, if you think about it.
Soon, Jonathan was taking pictures. Lots of them. He captured the beauty of God’s creation:
He also captured glimpses of family life:
He even took pictures of Mommy first thing in the morning while the coffee was brewing. Those have been edited out of this post.
Jonathan filled up his memory card by taking even more pictures of the cat. I loaded all his snapshots onto my computer and flipped through them. Something about those photos touched me deeply. This was Jonathan’s beautiful gift, in snapshots.
I thought about how God has blessed me. Indeed, He has given me countless good gifts and met my every need. But when God blesses my children, well, that is something else. That is my undoing. That brings me to my knees and causes tears to flow and opens my lips in wonder and praise.
It is a beauty of motherhood to see the lavish love of God spill all over my babies. It is a wonder I cannot always comprehend, and I think to myself how I would not know this goodness of God unless He had blessed me with children. I would not know the beauty of His blessing as much if I had not seen Him bless those I love the most.
Oh, how He loves me! He loves me enough to love my lovely ones more than I ever could. That is something I hold on to, like a snapshot, on this beautiful day.