My kids are pretty hilarious. I find them funny every day. The things they do and say are a constant source of belly laughter in my house. They are witty and quick and just funny.
They sometimes think it’s fun to grab my phone and take silly selfies for me to find later in my photo stream. For example:
This is apparently a thing, because I see them doing it to each other and to their friends and those friends do it on my kids’ phones too. It seems to me to be a new way to stamp yourself on someone you care about.
In my day we had friendship pins. You create a design that’s unique to you and give them to friends for their shoelaces. This way, everyone knew you were friends. Well, everyone who looked at your shoes. There was a lot of looking down and subsequent bumping into each other in the halls. Anyway, it was a thing.
Yes, I am old. Let’s move on.
There are many ways we let the world know we belong to each other. Maybe you were really lucky and you had a best friend with whom you split a heart necklace. Later in life we put rings on each other.
Why do we do this? We do it because we are all born with a need to be loved and to belong somewhere. Who is mine? Whose am I? So I put my stamp on you and I take your stamp on me.
I decided today, I want to be on God’s photo stream.
Here are a few folks who are already on there: Abel, Abraham, Sarah, Moses, the people who crossed the Red Sea, Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthath, David, Samuel ,the prophets, and more (Hebrews 11). This is from a chapter in Hebrews that is one of my favorite spots in the Bible, because I have long looked at it this way: the entire counsel of the Bible tells us of God’s great love for us. But here God tells us about those who showed great faith in Him. Some call this chapter of Hebrews the Hall of Faith. Sometimes when I teach on this passage I hand out stickers to the class that say ‘Hello My Name Is: Hebrews 11:41’ because there is no Hebrews 11:41. The chapter stops at verse 40. But wouldn’t it be cool if we could have the faith that causes God to be pleased, so pleased He would want to write it down as an example for others? Wouldn’t it be great if we could stop worrying about pleasing people here on earth and focus instead on the fact that we belong to Him?
That’s better than being on the photo stream, although similarly motivated. I want to know that He is mine and I am His. I want to be one of His kids, and I want something I do to bring Him a smile during the day.
It’s helpful for me to remember Psalm 103:14 in this context, ‘for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.’ This reminds me it is not through my own strength and not through my deeds but through my faith that I please God. Each of the names I mentioned above in God’s ‘photo stream’ are preceded in scripture with the words ‘by faith…’ so in God’s economy, the reason they are remarkable is not their actions but the faith that motivated those actions.
In the context of the New Testament, in the spot we are on the kingdom calendar, that faith has to start with Jesus Christ. When we put our faith in Him, it pleases His Father (John 3:16). In fact, Jesus said ‘I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.’ –John 15:15
Jesus calls me friend.
That’s the only pin I need on my shoe, and the only photo stream I really need to be in. How about you?