The Imperfect Image is Perfect!

~By – Julie Chatfield, Children’s Ministry Director
Picture Day! When you were a kid, picture day always felt somewhat like a holiday.  The routine of classwork was disrupted, and it seemed there was more opportunity for social interaction.  To be sure, the day went by quickly.  My mother would always make a big deal about us wearing something nice and made sure, against our will, that our hair was combed and styled in a  presentable fashion.  There would always be a free comb which was too fine to fix any fly away strands, but we gladly accepted it and secured it in the back pocket of our Jordan Jeans.  The photographer would inevitably position our chins a little too high, evident in the final results.  After everyone was individually photographed, the entire class would line up on a set of risers behind a black changeable message board noting the year, teacher and grade.  

As I became a parent the enthusiasm of picture day remained the same.  Only, the expectation of my children was different.  Luckily for me our kiddos school required uniforms so the outfit was never in question.  But from the moment my girls had enough hair to style, my handling and care of it was off limits.  Picture day was no exception.  When my oldest was in first grade she insisted daily on wearing her hair pulled back in a pony tail.  I generally didn’t have a problem with this because at least it was getting combed.  But I admit felt it wasn’t the most flattering look.  On picture day that year I pleaded, “Jessica, please wear your hair down for the picture.”  She emphatically promised to abide.  Later, as I eagerly viewed the proofs, her pose showed otherwise.  I’m guessing she pulled her hair back the second she entered the classroom, not thinking twice about my plea, and also not considering the pictures would convict.  Of course I could have gotten angry and scolded her for not listening and at best opted for a retake.  But in that moment decided the trouble wasn’t worth my time, so happily paid for a package.  As the years continued I vowed to accept their school pictures and all their imperfections.  In hindsight I am glad for my choice.  Now when I look back upon their sweet faces complete with wonky smiles, braces, or the trending hairdo, it’s nice to reminisce of their developing and confident personalities.  All this to say, sometimes the imperfect image is perfect after all.  

1 Samuel 16: 7-  But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”