The Rest of the Story

Paul Harvey is famous for bringing us the rest of the story. Before you get to the rest you have to be left hanging. The tension and anticipation, the longing we have to fill in the blanks is a curiosity. It’s one of the reasons I love black and white photography. Since there is no color, it relies on texture to stimulate interest and since we see in color, there is this longing to fill in the blanks. It’s hard to accept black and white when you know full well that this picture is filled with color. In this case colorful characters!!

I’ve always enjoyed this picture. Like many things there is some debate about it. Some say 1901 some say 1905. Some say Nebraska, others say Denver. Either way, it’s a group of cowboys showcasing their skills in your typical “Western Show” of their era. The thing I enjoy about a photo like this is that a picture does say a thousand words, but it also leaves out several million as well.

Wouldn’t you like to know… Which of these guys would give you the shirt off their back? Which one would give you the ace up his sleeve to win a card game? Who was the alpha? Who couldn’t care less about who is the alpha? What were their dreams, did they realize them and who is coasting in a freefall of carelessness, becoming a reprobate? Family, friends, life stories all unknown.

The Bible offers the same snapshot of lives lived. Answers to some questions are made known, but deep things go unexplained and you just wondered how they viewed things and how different their perspective about most everything would be very different from my own.

God invites me to trust Him and Hebrews reminds me that I have a great cloud of witnesses listed in Chapter 11. These witnesses offer the type of online reviews we read to find out about a product in our day. Abram didn’t have such a list to look through. He just did what God asked of him and moved to a foreign land. Which I might add, upon arrival, was in such drought that he went to Egypt to weather the storm. Which just makes me think, “Thanks for the Promised Land(hear all of the hesitation in my vocal chords)”

You see, it’s in those moments where I would really like to know what’s going on in the mind of people. For every thousand words of the picture, I have a thousand questions. It might very well be that God didn’t see fit to answer all of that for me. It might be that my questions aren’t as great as I think, or that knowing the answers might keep me from pressing into what a living God would have to say to me today in my own experience.

In my imagination of the photo above or any of my favorite Bible stories, the only thing that really matters is… I hope they knew God. I hope they knew they could be reconciled to a Holy, strong, loving, merciful God. That their giftedness was a gift from their Creator, that today they are enjoying a wholeness in heaven that was almost impossible to imagine while here on planet earth and that this coming Sunday they might partake of communion with us. All of that I pray is true. Any fact beyond that might be nice for historical trivia. It’s the eternal questions that matter most.

Published by hisnamehisfame

Husband, Father, Pastor, Coach, Designer, Bonsai Dork

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