by Barbara Ann Oliver
Kristin was buried today. She was 19. She had been in and out of the hospital her whole life, but she finally lost the battle. At her funeral, there were pictures of her, and trophies, and ribbons, showing the triumphs of her short life. But her greatest triumph was her faith. Kristin was a fine Christian lady.
I have known Kristin for about 12 years. Her mother is one of my best friends. But I have a hard time remembering what Kristin looks like, because I didn’t see her very often. Now that she is gone, I know that I will remember less and less of what she looked like. But her mom won’t.
Her mom will never forget that girl, because she was with her every day. And, as the years go by, and as memory fades, her mom only has to pull out those pictures and look at that sweet girl, and all the memories will come flooding back. When her brother’s children come to Grandma’s house, she will pull out that family album and say, “This is your aunt Kristin!” Their children will turn to those pictures and say, “This is our great aunt Kristin.” And her memory will stay alive for generations because of those pictures her loving mother took throughout her lifetime.
Jesus was buried. He rose again and lives at the right hand of God. Twelve men shared his life on earth. They saw his face every day for three years. They knew when he was sad, or happy, or mad. They saw his tears; they saw his grief; they saw his love; they saw God in him. And, eventually, their lives reflected what they saw in their Master’s face.
But I have never seen Jesus. All the pictures of him are just an artist’s renderings. No one can pull out a Polaroid of Jesus and say, “This is Jesus.” Yet, there is a picture album that he left for us so that we can remember what he looks like. The face of love, the face of kindness, the face of our Brother.
Matthew says, “See, this is Jesus.” And he shows us one picture. Mark paints another picture, as does John. Luke gives us a whole history of his life and times and the beginnings of his earthly genealogy, which started in Acts 2:38 when, in one day, his family jumped in number by three thousand.
Kristin is now just a picture in a book to most people. But her mother will carry her sweet reflection in her heart for as long as she lives. And Jesus, also in his way, is just a picture in a book to most people. But those of us who love him carry his sweet reflection in our hearts.
God give us the desire to show the picture of our Brother to all we meet and reflect in our lives what we see in the Master’s face.
Kristin actually has spent the last six years in eternity. She is still remembered and loved by her mother and brother.