Starting tomorrow, the people of Christ Community Church in Marion will be getting their pictures taken for a photo directory. This seems like a simple thing, doesn't it? Who knew it would be such a production. Actually, the process is pretty easy. But getting people to agree to get their picture taken has been anything but.
It's just a picture, right? Maybe it's not that simple. Several people asked if they could just submit a picture they have already had taken. But copyright issues mean that releases have to be signed if the pictures aren't snapshots. Then there is a matter of formatting. And most significant for me, anyway, is that submitted pictures look out of place in a church directory.
I suspect that the reason this has been so hard is because people don't like having their picture taken. This comes from the insecurities we all have about ourselves. We don't like our hair (not my issue). We don't like our body shape. We don't like our double chins. We don't like our smile. Whatever it is, when we look at our own picture, we see nothing but flaws, most of which no one else sees. At least with a picture that has already been taken, we can limit the things we don't like.
But pictures of us are for us. They are for other people. They are for the people who know us or want to know us. Directory pictures are for the people in your church who like you despite the flaws you see in your picture. They are for new people to figure out who they were talking to at the coffee station when they forget your name. They aren't you. They are a representation of you so that people can know what you look like.
In a way, this is one of the roles of Jesus. Jesus was God in human form, not for God to see what He would look like as a human, but for us to see God and to know what God looks like. Relating to God is much easier with the life and teachings of Jesus. Sure, it may be just a snapshot of God, but it helps.
Thank you for having your image captured in Jesus, God.
Thank you for having your image captured on paper, Church.
Practice your faith every day.