The best photos (and memories) that didn’t make this week’s posts

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.
    The world and all its people belong to him.
 For he laid the earth’s foundation on the seas
    and built it on the ocean depths.

Psalm 24
– writer Derek Maul

Typically, my weekly “Photo Review” comes every Friday. But of course there has been nothing typical about anything these last couple of weeks. So today, Saturday, I’m going to share the best photos that did not make it into my regular posts during the past seven days.

A couple of the pictures are “memory” images that popped up in my Facebook feed. I am sharing those because they both made me smile – a lot – at exactly the moment when I needed. I have absolutely zero interest in rolling the clock back, or playing nostalgia games that typically turn out to be make-believe; but I do value the power of positive and inspirational memories.

The absolute best visual I came across this week is one I cannot share. It’s a 17-second video of our grandson in Bahrain on a boat trip with his parents. I have watched it a dozen times, enjoying Mr. T.’s sweet voice and huge smile. The joy that communicates is beyond heartwarming, it is restorative to my soul.

One and Two – Miami:

Naomi and David, down by the water. No commentary necessary, because it speaks for itself. Also, Geoffrey at Zoo Miami. Geoffrey on the move. Geoffrey all about living and experiencing and engaging and learning and never being still.

Three and Four – my parents:

My dad is living in a lovely homes-style assisted living residence. Mum and I go out every day. It is comfortable, dad is well cared for, and it is the best possible solution for this particular moment.

What’s not so great is the fact it’s hard for them both. I am working toward a solution. The pictures capture the situation well.

Five and Six – Memories:

The photo on the left is from a pre-pandemic Sunday at Wake Forest Presbyterian Church (probably three years ago). The photo on the right is of Scout Labradoodle, taken in May of 2011 when we were still living in Florida.

What the pictures have in common is the fact that they popped up in my memory feed, and they both made me smile all the way deep in to my heart.

We are sustained, inspired, encouraged, and renewed by memories like this. Great memories help us to look forward with belief and confidence and promise. Great memories remind us of how good and faithful and profoundly alive God’s work is, both for us and among us.

Seven – more joy:

This last photo is a little blurry but it tells a clear story. It features our son, Andrew, teaching his heart out in Bahrain with this beautiful group of 5th grade students. It makes me happy in so many ways to see Andrew investing himself and his considerable gifts in children like this.

– Andrew Maul and class

What a great looking crew! What a message of hope and promise for the future to see the intentionally international character of the students, the classroom, the school, and their wonderful teacher.

Have an amazing weekend, friends. I pray peace, both in your hearts and in this world – DEREK

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