One day, an elementary school principal summoned the father of one of his female students to her office.
The principal pulled out a drawing the man's daughter had made of her family.
The father saw that the child had drawn a picture of her mother and two brothers but failed to include him.
Disturbed, a teacher had sent the drawing to the principal and then to the school counselor.
The father assured the principal that he was a good father and insisted they bring in his daughter to talk to her. When the child arrived, the principal gently asked her to identify each person in her picture.
“This is my mommy, this is my big brother and the other one is my little brother,” she said.
For a moment, they all sat in silence. “In your picture, where is your dad?” asked the principal.
“He isn't there,” the little girl replied.
The little girl looked up and said, “He's the one taking the picture!”
When I was growing up, there was no such thing as digital anything.
Our family had an old Kodak Brownie camera, so loading a roll of film was an art in itself. After taking your pictures, you put the roll of film into an envelope and mailed it off. By the time you forgot what pictures you'd taken, they showed up in your mailbox.
Back then, we didn't have timers on our cameras that we could set and then run like a greyhound to make it into the shot. Unless an extra person happened to be around to snap the picture, one family member had to be left out.
On those occasions when I was the one taking the picture, I found great joy in looking through that little glass window and seeing the most beautiful woman I ever laid eyes on next to two boys who were nothing more than my heart walking outside my body. I didn't want a picture of me. I wanted a picture of them.
I know that some of you may think God is no longer in your family picture for various reasons. But I want to assure you, He is watching over you, looking after you and caring for you — even in those times when you don't see or feel Him.
You and your family matter deeply to God.
After all, He designed the family.
Walker Moore is president of AweStar Ministries in Tulsa.