Last week my husband and I went on a big vacation and had the chance to explore Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, and Sedona. On our second night at the Grand Canyon, we sat outside and watched the stars. I don't think I've ever seen anything like it. I felt like I could honestly see the roundness of the sky like being seated in the world's most amazing planetarium. I would have loved to capture the way the stars looked, but with only an iPhone there was just no way. But it also hit me - some things are like that. Some of the most truly amazing moments can never be captured except by the memories of our minds. Who hasn't experienced an amazing sunset or sunrise, snapped a photo, and thought "that is nowhere close to the actual experience?"
When my kids were small, they each had a story at different times at Disneyworld that only I got to experience with them, and they are some of my favorite memories. I wasn't looking through a camera - I was looking at them. I wish for anything I had a snapshot - but some things are like that. Too big, too sweet, too wonderful - even if I had had a camera it would never have captured the magic.
It seems Mary had an experience like this documented in Luke 2, in the birth narrative of Jesus:
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” 16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
We are entering the Thanksgiving season and on to Advent and Christmas. What do you want to capture in these days? In the day of instant digital photos and access to a camera with most of us like never before, sometimes we just have to slow down, be present, and have the experience. May you make memories with those you love that you simply treasure up and keep in your heart.
And... for those moments you ARE fortunate enough to have a photo, enjoy - and thank you for kindly sharing with others your beautiful stories. Amen.