Spiritual Comedy

I just had to write about this. It was too hilarious. I won’t divulge names to protect the photographer who did this. But…I’ve never seen an uglier more corpse-like picture of Edric and I in my life! Edric looks like he had 5 rounds of plastic surgery. And, I look like a nightmarish rendition of Bella from Twilight, the demon version. I want to exorcise myself! Look at those blood-stained teeth and creepy eye bags and cheekbones…not to mention the unnatural palor of the skin.

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Before my sister-in-law, Denise and her husband, Fritz, left for the U.S. some weeks ago, Edric hired a photographer to take photos of the Mendoza family. The intention was brilliant. It would be the last time we would be together for a while. But with just a few days to find a photographer, Edric hired someone we don’t really know, a recommendation through Facebook. Even though we have a number of friends who are excellent photographers, Edric didn’t want to burden anyone of them with a last minute request.

This mystery photographer was actually a nice guy. And I think he was a decent photographer. The only problem is we didn’t pay him enough to bring lights and it was a night shoot. As a result, most of the photos he took had heavy shadows on them. Maybe he thought he could fix them with post-editing, but whoa!

One of the photos had severe shadows on Edric’s face and my own. Everyone else was very visible. When we asked him to do something about it, he must have gone a little bit overboard. I saw a glimpse of my future and it frightened the heck out of me! Is this what I will look like when I’m 70? Freaky beyond recognition?! I almost jumped out of my chair! And then I laughed and laughed uncontrollably because I couldn’t believe that someone would edit photos and submit them to a client thinking they would be acceptable. It was incredulous.

In fairness to him, he wasn’t given a lot to work with and the shadows were so heavy, he had to kind of reconstruct our faces. But wow, this could’ve qualified as one of those Photoshop-gone-bad moments that would’ve given people a good laugh. I’m still laughing.

I believe there is a spiritual lesson to be learned here. This photo is an obvious reminder that our physical bodies will decay. I really may look like that years from now and worse, and no amount of photoshop editing will be able to repair the reality of time.

2 Corinthians 4:16 to 18 says, “Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

It’s a great reminder not to love the passing things of this world, including our physical bodies. Sometimes, I can be so vain and a real worrywart about getting heavy during my pregnancy. I obsess about counting each pound. In fact, I weigh myself every single morning so I can calculate how many calories I will consume. Edric tells me to relax and embrace my enlarging self. (And I think to myself, it’s easy for him to say because he doesn’t experience total body transformation and he doesn’t have to work to lose all the excess weight after.) But he is right. I really panic when I step on the scale and discover that I’ve gained a pound overnight. What?! Why?! Oh no, I ate too much rice! Oh no, I shouldn’t have eaten that cupcake!

Well, the photo was God’s way of telling me that the physical is going to fade away sooner or later. So stop focusing on it! I can still be conscious of what I eat, but don’t make weight concern an idol – something that robs my peace, controls me, makes me stressed and temporal-minded. Instead, I need to be channeling my energies towards “seeking the things above,” as Colossians 3 says it. “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”

We cannot stop ageing (at best, we can delay it), and we cannot hold on to the material things of this world forever, but we can cultivate the truest life and unfading beauty of the inward person that is found in Christ.

Oh, and I hope you got a good laugh, he he.

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