My mom has been going through all of the old family slides, converting them to jpegs and putting them on CD-Rs. Eventually, all of us kids will have copies of all of these slides. It's a cool project.
She recently send me some pictures of myself as a little boy, and I was unprepared for the waves of emotion that rolled over me. Nostalgia? Sure, but I don't think it's just that.
Is it that I have kids of my own now and I see myself reflected in their faces? Yes, I think that is a big part of it...
But deeper than that, I think it's reflecting on my own life and loss of innocence. When you're a child, things are simple. Playing in the sprinkler on a hot summer's day is about as complicated as it gets. But of course we grow and live. Our lives become more and more complex. We find ourselves in situations we never imagined. We lose heart and hope. We see the dark side of life. We lose, we fail, we let ourselves and others down. Childhood dreams are let go.
And then, sometimes, we find grace. And we realize that God is bigger than our failures and the boxes we've put God in. We find that there is hope for redemption, that Jesus came because we're screwed up, because eventually we all fall, we all fail, we all break. And that we are loved beyond anything we could ever hope, dream, ask or imagine.
So thanks, Mom... For loving me (then and now) and for sending these photos as a reminder of who I was and who I am in the eyes of God... a precious, innocent child. Loved and cherished.