I can see the picture so vividly that I often wonder if I took it myself.
I see the cozy little home in the heart of Texas…the kind of home that was common 50 years ago, when life was simple and you could trust your neighbors.
I see sunshine and white cotton clouds in an endless sky that seems to swallow the small home. All of the windows are flung open to welcome the fresh spring air.
There is an old blue dog sleeping in the shade of the porch, between two worn rocking chairs and a small wooden rocking horse.
The opposite side of the porch is slanted with early morning sunlight and a grey cat sleeps on a chair swing, one eye cautiously on the dog.
The yard is green, but there are well-worn paths to the hand-built swing set and the drive way. A black pick-up truck sits in the driveway, partly covered in dust and dry mud. Muddy boots line the back window, shoved heel-up between the tool box and the cab. Horses graze in the distance, unaware of their majestic beauty.
The morning is frozen in time- one distinct spring morning and every spring morning.
The family is awake. I can’t hear them through the picture, but I distinctly remember laughter.
There is a tall man wearing a Stetson, his long lean shape filling the doorway near the kitchen. He is freshly shaven and crisp in starched jeans, a tie, and a white cotton shirt. Even his boots look like they’ve been shined, despite their obvious wear. I can’t see his face clearly, but I can follow his emerald gaze.
He is looking down at a tiny bundle wrapped in pale pink. A young woman holds the bundle proudly, her love for her family obvious and complete. Her long hair covers her face, but she seems to be looking at the owner of the rocking horse, a young boy with the build of his father and wide green eyes full of wonder and innocence. He looks to be about four and is staring up at his father with blatant admiration and love.
The picture is static and I cannot know what they were doing or what will happen next. But I like to think about it...
I like to think that Dad is kissing his wife and kids goodbye as he leaves for work. I can almost feel a tangible love that connects this passionate green-eyed family.
The photograph freezes more than motion; it forever captures the essence of family life, a loving home, pure happiness.
Without question, God is there… in the house, in the wide open sky, in the heart of the family, in this picture ingrained in my heart.
Sometimes I ask myself why I visualize the picture so often. Am I looking for something that I can’t see? Is there something out of place? Have I been to this house before?
But I know that I am just waiting.
Holding my breath and waiting for the woman to look up…waiting for her to look up so that I can see if it is me.
I want it to be me.