Don't get me wrong, I think photos are wonderful, and I love going through them--mine or other people's (with them--I'm not that much of a creeper)--but especially when you're so newly back from something so awesome, they seem to stand in stark contrast to reality. (Incidentally, I think this may have been a benefit to the pre-digital age of photography. When I was a kid, you came home from a trip, and desperately packaged up your rolls of film in the paper envelopes at the store, and then waited the ETERNITY of days to see what came out. I know there are innumerable benefits to digital photography, but there's something about the death of anticipation that makes my photos less amazing.)
Case in point: the photo below. And this is just one of the 212 photos I just uploaded to Facebook. Just ONE. You see my problem.
I don't suppose this is such a great photo, just looking at it. It's blurry, and the light is weird, and you don't really know what you're looking at. But this is Derry, Peggy, and Lorna, our "kitchen angels." Not only did they make us three meals a day for nine days, but they sang for us--during the day, and even at night, when they could have finally gone home and escaped the 28 Americans who had descended on their existence. They sang for us in beautiful, spontaneous harmony. They were wonderful singers, but it was more than that--they sang out of joy, out of freedom from their pasts and their pain, out of marveling in a God who cared for them.
I love this picture because it's so clearly not reality--the light is brighter than it should be, forms are unclear. Reality wouldn't have done it justice, because we weren't dealing with reality when they sang. We got a teaser for heaven from them everyday, and I'm okay that I didn't perfectly capture them as they really are on this earth. It's likely that I won't see these ladies again until I hit heaven's door, and when I do, this is what I'll look for: light, and joy, and raised hands.