Teach us to number our days: the fleeting and the abiding…

Teach us to number our days,
    that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Psalm 90:12
Rachel (left) Rebekah (right)

Today’s Photo Friday comprises a hodgepodge of images Rebekah and I found this week looking for photographs of her sister, Rachel, and of the sibling group (Roy, Rachel, Rebekah, Joe, Jesse).

They are now part of a collection being assembled for Rachel’s memorial service in late June. But this grouping is so interesting I want to share it today.

Archival photographs are a critical element of telling the story of our lives. But I wish they also included other details such as, “Five seconds before this picture was taken the photographer had to bribe the bridesmaids to stop fighting.” Or, “The sidewalk cafe in Pisa looks idyllic, but Rachel and Tom were jet-lagged after missing several flights, connections, and two nights of sleep…”

I have labeled the photographs in the gallery, but here are a few thoughts before you take a look.

– circa 1957 (Rebekah in middle)

First, the images span more than sixty years, from the classic circa 1957 where Rebekah’s parents are barely 30 years old, to the family photo I took in Jacksonville, January 1 2020.

Then, life looks like it moves along slowly, incrementally, lived one day, sometimes one hour or minute, at a time. Family is a constant, our siblings especially in a sense permanent, because they have always been there, and we have no memory of life without them.

But then in an instant, in a heartbeat absolutely everything changes. Photographs grouped like this capture both parts of that equation, the permanence and the stunningly abrupt impermanence. The fleeting and the abiding.

When we think about our lives, and what one day we might leave behind, may it be an ocean of love, a mountain of faithfulness, and a legacy of light and purpose that leaves hope and promise engraved on the hearts of our families.

So teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom – DEREK

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