The Nonexistent Picture That Caused Me to Reflect

Several of us went out to lunch on one particular afternoon. We all had a nice visit with one another, and enjoyed good food as well. It was a treat and a blessing all the way around. I wanted a picture of all of us to keep as a memory of the occasion. I mentioned that perhaps the waitress could take our picture. Or maybe someone with a long arm could manage to get a selfie of us all. However, two members of our party didn’t want their pictures taken because they didn’t like the way they looked. I jokingly said that we wouldn’t have a memory of the occasion and five years later we might forget all about it. I probably sounded harsher than I meant to. And I do regret that. I really did mean to joke. But the truth is that it did bother me that we didn’t get the picture. I was thinking about this and wondering why it bothered me so much. I discovered several reasons.

1 – First, sad to say, life is short. I had no idea when I might see some of the people in our party again. There have been some seasons where we went years without seeing one another, due to living in different states. Pictures are important to me, because they capture the joy of the moment. Also, several years ago I lost all of my pictures and many memories were lost as well. I now take a lot of pictures because some days it seems a picture is all I have to hang onto of special moments.

2 – I am naturally a quiet person. But what adds to that is I often get the impression that I am not heard. This is one reason why I write. I can get my words, thoughts, and feelings out. So when I have encounters like this, I feel shot down, and it reinforces the thought that I should not speak up. This is something I hope to work on, with the Lord’s help.

3 – The final reason why this bothered me, I will unpack a little more. To me it relayed the message that we all have to be perfect all the time. And it poked at an underlying issue that I have been struggling with for a long time. I would love it if I (and people in general, especially Christians) could be more open. I want us all to be more real. Many of us have a mask on, myself included. We never allow people to see our true hearts. When we remove the walls that we have built, we bridge gaps. This allows us to meet in the middle. It allows us to know we are not alone. It allows us to really hear each other out and have deep conversations.

(Disclaimer: Please note I am not saying these two people who didn’t want their pictures taken are never real. I am just saying this is how I read the situation, especially since this topic was already something stirring inside of me.)

I recently heard David Crowder being interviewed on my favorite radio station. David is a funny guy. However, due to being a Christian singer and songwriter, he also has to be creative and spread an important message. Jayar, the afternoon DJ on weekdays, asked David, “How difficult is it for you to slide between the creative and the funny … write a song or to say something on the stage that could be life-giving? How difficult is that transition for you as a naturally funny person?”

David replied, “… When we laugh our guard comes down… It’s an aid to turn a corner… To be able to then speak the truth of what I know of God.” David went on to say that it’s received more easily “to hear it from somebody that you had just shared a laugh with… That’s what I try to do all the time is to tear down the perception that we are separated in some sense.” If you want to listen to the interview, here is the link. It’s broken out into clips. The “Funny and Spiritual” clip is the one I am referencing here.

I told a friend once that I treasured how genuine she was. She told me that was the best compliment someone could give. And I think she is right. As for me, I would like to be more genuine as well. I don’t want to be perfect and I don’t want to confuse perfection with being authentic. I pray that this is something I can change, with the Lord’s help.

© 2020 Bridget A. Thomas

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Photo by David Bartus on

About Bridget A. Thomas

Bridget A. Thomas is the author of numerous books which hit the top of the charts and continue to help many people find true contentment in life. In her spare time, Bridget enjoys reading non-fiction, fiction, and classic literature. She also enjoys crocheting and watching baseball. Bridget and her husband live in Florida, but often travel to the Smoky Mountains in search of black bears and other wildlife. To learn more about Bridget, visit her at
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15 Responses to The Nonexistent Picture That Caused Me to Reflect

  1. Renee Moyd says:

    Bridget, I really enjoyed this article because it reveals the true insecurities that many women possess. I feel quite the same about taking pictures…but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, “No!! I’m not picture ready!” Or, “I’m too fat, my hair, or my makeup.” I’ve come to the point in my life that things like, hair, makeup or weight don’t define me as a person. God looks at the heart and the intents of the heart. My desire is to do things based on a heart motivate. That has been misinterpreted by friends and family, but that’s really not my problem. I’m always ready for a picture memory- unless I’ve been crying! That’s when I’ll decline. 😀😉

    Liked by 3 people

    • Renee, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I was hesitant to share this post because I wasn’t sure how it would be received. So it makes me feel relieved to know you have the same feelings. “God looks at the heart and the intents of the heart. My desire is to do things based on a heart motivate.” I love that! Yes! That’s what it’s all about. The heart. You said it so beautifully! That is something we all need to keep in mind and I believe we will see a big difference in all of our interactions. Thank you for commenting, Renee! It’s always a joy to hear from you! ❣️

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Bridget, you have hit at the heart of the matter on this. As Christians, we need each other. We need to share authentically. At Bible study last night, it got really authentic as we confessed out weaknesses to one another. There was plenty of laughter, as you said, but there were also tears–mine, because another person in the group touched on the thing that has been on my heart. How wonderful it is when Christians get authentic with each other! I love you authenticity.

    Liked by 3 people

    • That’s so beautiful! It makes me happy to know that there are Christians out there who are real and open with one another. I truly believe God wants us to be more like that because that’s how we lead others to Christ and that’s how we help our fellow Christians heal. Thank you so much for sharing this! 💜


  3. Judy says:

    This ties in with my study of Beauty. I spent my whole life failing to meet the world’s definition of Beauty, which required I always look my best. Reflecting God’s love is true Beauty and doesn’t require a certain hairstyle, clothes, or weight. Funnily enough, I recognized it in others but couldn’t put the proper name to it. Now I know.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Tina says:

    I relate to you very much on being quiet and feeling unheard. So much so, that I have pushed to be heard. Sometimes too harshly out of frustration. I’m learning though. I think when you’re quiet people don’t expect you to speak, so when you finally do, they either don’t hear it, or they ignore it. I’m not as quiet as I use to be. I think people are adjusting. My voice isn’t as ignored as it used to be.

    Pictures are wonderful. We all need to stop worrying so much about looking perfect, though I do it too. Nobody else cares as much as we do how we look. The ones who love us see our heart rather than our face.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tina, it is good to know I am not alone in regards to feeling unheard. And how wonderful to know that you have been able to change that. I will try to persevere in this area. Too often I let the enemy get in my head, which keeps me from pressing forward… Yes we are our own worst critics and will likely find tiny “flaws” that no one else would notice. We all probably can improve in this area of worrying too much about our appearance. Many of us spend a lot of time worrying about our exterior. If we spent that much time worrying about our interior, just think of how beautifully we would all shine, with a natural love flowing from the inside out! 💜

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Lorraine Weeks says:

    My comment is long over due but this is just to say that I equate with your feelings. Pictures are important to me, too. We never know when we snap a photo..posed or otherwise, how important that shot might become to you one day. Silly pictures of my sister and I taken unexpectedly have come to mean so much now that she has passed away. Pictures of former coworkers are treasured now as I look back and remember when. We all like to look our best but at what price..just maybe the one priceless picture that could have and should have been. Thank you for putting into words something we should all keep in mind when it’s our turn to flinch when someone suggests a pose!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes you are so right. I have a friend who passed away at the age of 34 and I don’t have a single picture of us together. Also, I have 4 siblings. But there is only one picture in existence of the 5 of us together. This can never be remedied since one of them has passed away. They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. But it’s more than that. A picture is worth countless memories and emotions as well. 💚


  6. Mickey Thomas says:

    I think that most people do think about the way they look, especially before pictures. Even though I don’t care a whole lot about getting mine taken, it isn’t because of the way I look. I have worked on that though, because I have lost family and friends, that I wish I had more pictures of. Some of them I don’t even have pictures of, just memories. I really hope a lot of people read this post, and realize how important pictures and memories are.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: This week in Beauty | The Project: Me by Judy

  8. Pingback: Becoming Your Best Self | Christians Read

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