The wall in my home office is covered with pictures.
In the center of those pictures, there is a family portrait. Many of the pictures around it are family, too. Some of the pictures predate me, like the one of my wife’s grandfather’s family and the picture of my maternal grandmother. Then there are graduation pictures of my wife and me. There are pictures of our children when they were younger and recent pictures of our grandchildren.
Every picture has a story. In one picture, my son is wearing a school jacket. I remember it cost $60. That may not seem like much to you, but at the time it was a real sacrifice for us. Somehow, we found the money to buy it, and the smile on his face in the picture is worth every penny it cost. We never told him we had to sacrifice for that jacket. We simply asked him to take good care of it because we probably could not get another one if he lost it.
In another picture, our daughters are sitting in a red wagon together. Susan, age 3, is grinning from ear to ear. Sally, who was 5 and had just come to us from Korea, is petrified and holding on for her life. I can still hear her screaming. She wanted to ride but was scared to death.
The Bible is filled with pictures. I’m not speaking of the artist renderings; I’m talking about the word pictures. Word pictures, you say? Yes, word pictures. Jesus said, “Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem. I wanted to call you to myself like a hen calls her chicks under her wing, but you would not listen.” That’s a word picture.
Again he said, “If a shepherd has 100 sheep and only 99 come home, he doesn’t reason, ‘I have most of them.’ No, he goes looking for the one.” In one of my favorite word pictures, Jesus says, “I stand at the door and knock. If you let me in, I’ll dwell with you.”
Pictures are made to be seen. We display them for all to see. They are worthless when they are hidden in an album. It is the same with the biblical word pictures. They are to be seen — not hidden. So, open your Bible, please, and look at them. Like the family pictures on my wall, they will bless your life.
Wade Paris writes a weekly syndicated column, “The Shepherd Calls.”