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    by Susan McGrath

Picture Yourself
Date Posted: August 27, 2005

I love taking pictures!

Let me clarify that. I love being the one who takes the pictures of other people or things. The anonymous person behind the lens. Leave me out of the photo, thank you very much!

I just saw all the pictures my brother took on our family vacation. I'm in some of them. I didn't like what I saw.

Even though I saw all my pictures the week after we returned home, I was in very few of them. I managed to keep things focused on my husband and kids.

My brother was not so selective. He even has pictures of me after I rolled out of bed at 4 a.m. to drive up to a dizzying altitude and watch the sun rise. Now the only other people willing to do this were my two brothers, who also spent the week hiking like maniacs in record Rocky Mountain temperatures, so I'm not sure what that says about my judgment!

Anyway, let's just say I'm even less photogenic than usual while being back-lit by a sunrise prior to my morning shower.

I cringe each time I see a new picture of myself, wondering how I could have gotten so fat or so old without realizing it.

Photographs don't lie. (At least without help from the computer or magazine editor.) They show us as we are, whether we like it or not.

It's a different perspective from looking in the mirror -- closer to what everyone else sees.

I think that's why it's so hard for us when God uses others to shape us or reflect the faults we need to mend.

We can look inward and pray and study scripture, but unless we realize how others perceive our lives, God can't use us to reach them.

Sometimes that's a very painful truth. But very necessary if we are to grow and be molded for God's purpose and pleasure.

"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God." -- Colossians 3:16

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Biography Information:
Susan McGrath is:

a recovering journalist trying to encourage others and glorify God through writing;

living the small-town life with husband Tim and sons Lincoln, 12, and Sawyer, 6;

completing a few put-off writing projects while using chocolate for therapy.
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