Posted by Shawn Buxton - Tuesday, January 31, 2012
If God had a hallway lined with family photos,
What would it look like?
Would He hang the 8 x 10 of the mother, father, and 2½ children family unit in the center of His wall with prominence?
Or maybe the black and white snapshot of the single mother of three,
Who, for the fourth winter in a row, has single-handedly wrestled a Christmas tree up five flights of stairs to her small apartment where she does her best to create a memory for her babies….
even if there wasn’t much to unwrap on Christmas morning?
Would there be a section of collages dedicated to single dads attempting to braid their daughters’ hair?
Would He matte and frame grandparents raising their grandbabies…
Aunts and Uncles caring for their nieces and nephews…
What about the orphans who never found a home?
What wall would they grace?
Would we find massive canvas sized portraits of two dads and their daughter,
or two moms and their sons?
Do they get a wall? Or even part of a wall?
What about the single twenty-something who already lost both parents to cancer?
Does a headshot count as a family photo?
Would there be an 11 x 13 antique framed portrait of a senior citizen man whose family never calls, never writes…
Is there wall real estate for that one?
Would there be a display of those who’ve transplanted here from other cities,
Whose lives haven’t panned out quite like they dreamed,
Who find the greatest sense of familial bond on bar stools on Friday nights together?
Do friend group shots get a place or is that just for Facebook?
What about the divorcees with stepchildren?
Siblings and only children?
The widows and widowers?
The separated, newly single and estranged?
Are they relegated to a corner somewhere?
Maybe with the other awkward family photos?
The woman who never met Mr. Right?
The man who never met Mrs. Right?
The couple who couldn’t have a child?
What priority will they have in this Divine Hallway?
And then, the Owner of this home,
The Keeper of these Halls,
The Father of every face gracing these walls
With a rumbling voice that shakes the very glass in every crooked framework….
“Meet my family.“
He straightens every frame with care as He passes by.
He proudly gazes into the eyes peering back at Him in each image….
Every photo has a place of prominence.
Every portrait uniquely matted and displayed.
No one looks the same. Some frames contain dozens, others only one or two.
But to Him, they are equally beautiful…
And with pride, He points to each of His family members and comments on how much His heart overflows with love for them.
How much they’ve grown.
How much He longs to know them more deeply.
How his heart aches when someone looks down their nose at them because they aren’t “the norm”
Or how it pains him when some of his family judges their brothers and sisters because their family portrait differs from their own.
You see, in this hallway, we are all family.
We are all children…
We are all adopted…
We are all brothers and sisters…
We are all loved and cherished beyond comprehension…
In fact, we’re all displayed with immense joy and satisfaction over the most giant fireplace in the universe…
Because to this Father, we’re way too precious to hide in a hallway….
We are God’s children….
An eclectic, colorful array
And the most enormous non-traditional family ever known.
Written by Taryn Hofert
Photo by Lauren Rosenau Photography