Healing Grace

Worth 1,000 Words…Sometimes

Date posted: July 22, 2014

“A picture is worth a thousands words”

It is common that as situations are described or plans are laid out, we desperately want to see a picture to get a better understanding.  We don’t write multi-page reports to describe how our children have grown.  We send photos.  We don’t pass around journals to describe our recent trip.  We share photos.  We don’t look at black & white text to decide how to renovate our home.  We look at pictures and color schemes.  We know that, if we can just see it in picture form, we will have a more complete representation of that which is being described.  Words are great, but we want a photo to confirm what we are imagining in our minds.

But it can so often be the other way around, too, can’t it?  Have you ever looked at a picture and wanted to hear the story behind it?  Have you ever seen a picture and had a thousand questions for the photographer?

Why did you choose that angle?   What was so special about this picture?    Were the colors really this brilliant?

We want the full picture – stories and pictures.  We want to understand and feel that we were a part of it.  We want to minimize the distance and imagine we were standing there together.

“A picture is worth a thousands words”

As sponsors, you recently received a new picture of your child.  While the picture shared a great deal about how they have grown and what they currently look like, it also likely prompted questions.

Why aren’t they smiling?  Why are they so dressed up?  Why aren’t they dressed up at all?  They look stronger.  They look weaker.  They look so proud.  They look so scared.

As you look at their photo, do you suddenly have a million questions about their current situation?  Do you want to know the story behind their photo?  Do you want to know more

While we can’t possibly answer every question in a short blog, we can share a few things that will maybe help answer some of your basic questions.

Many children, especially the ones newer to Healing Grace, have never seen a camera before.  They don’t understand what it is, what it does, and whether or not it’ll hurt.  They know they are supposed to stand up, keep their hands at their sides, and look at the camera, but the uncertainty of what will happen next often affects the result.  We try to explain the process and that their sponsor will, in the end, get this picture, but the concept is still fairly confusing.  This year, the children will receive a copy of their photo so that they can see what you, as a sponsor, see.

Leading up to picture day, the children are told to come to the church, ready to have their pictures taken for their sponsors.  For many, this means they plan ahead, take a shower, do their hair, and put on their nicest clothing.  Especially for those who know their sponsors through receiving letters or meeting them in person, they want to honor you with a beautiful picture.  They want to show you how grateful they are for your care.  They may even borrow clothes from a friend if they don’t have something that they think is suitable.

Unfortunately, for some children, the burdens they face at home are so great that it doesn’t matter how much experience they have with a camera, how well they know their sponsor, or how much they desire to look nice, their photos reflect the difficulties they face.  Whether it’s personal illness, family illness, recent losses, financial burdens, or emotional stress, they simply cannot come with cleanliness and smiles.

“A picture is worth a thousands words”

As a sponsor, this is your chance to bridge that gap between the picture and the story.  Read your child’s letter.  Look at their photo.  And then send them one in return.  Your words of encouragement, hope, truth, and love have a greater affect than you will ever know.  Ask them questions.  Tell them how precious they are to Jesus (and to you).  Love them deeply.  And send them a picture of you.

This is how stories get told.  This is how relationships are made.  This is how sponsorship has impact.