Ten years ago we had the opportunity to go to England, and, since it was a potentially once-in-a-lifetime trip, I decided to buy a “real” camera. At the time, “real” was a medium-priced Canon film SLR and a couple of decent lenses. The trip was a lot of fun, I took a lot of pictures, and discovered that I liked photography. I wasn’t very good at it, but I liked it.
In the intervening years I’ve upgraded to a digital SLR and a long zoom digicam. I still like to take pictures, but I’m still not very good at it, mostly because I don’t take enough pictures. (Can’t get better at something unless you do it!) I’ll take the occasional good photograph, but there are a couple of hundred mediocre ones on either side of it.
With the advent of digital cameras, I’ve been able to stand in front of a scene and take it in with my eyes, then look at what was captured in the camera, and see immediately that the latter doesn’t do justice to the former. The same with people – pictures of my wife don’t begin to show the beauty that is seen in person. So it is with mediocre or bad pictures — they give us a false impression of what the real thing looks like.
This is the problem many of us have with God. We hear the words, “Heavenly Father,” and we immediately bring up the picture of our earthly father. If our picture is a good one, we’re good. If it is a mediocre one, or an absent one, or an abusive one, our thoughts about God are warped by that bad picture we have in our head.
So, instead of looking at our pictures, we should look at His. The Bible tells us that Jesus is the perfect picture of God — in fact, even better than a picture, He’s exactly the same (Colossians 2:9). So, look at Jesus in any of the Gospels, and you can see what God looks like. If the picture disagrees with the picture you have in your head, guess which one’s the blurred one?