Archives For imperfections

No matter what your circumstances are saying to you today, our prayer is that each of you experience the presence of Jesus Christ this Christmas.

Immanuel. God with us.

The Creator who isn’t far off.  Who didn’t just record the human experience to playback later (with some eggnog and gingerbread) on some supernatural DVR.

God incarnate. Who became one of us.

“The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood.” – John 1:14 MSG

All your pain.  All your imperfection.  All your ineffective self-righteousness.  Your futile attempts to be good enough on your own.

Jesus embodied our humanity so He could become the embodiment of our redemption.  That’s why this baby named Jesus is some seriously good news.

God is truly with us.

Merry Christmas!

Love,

Erik, Mandy, Emma, Anna, & Austin

What You Don’t See

Erik Cooper —  November 30, 2010 — 1 Comment

We just received our stunning new family pictures. Not the Olan Mills tilt your head slightly to the left arms folded on the 70’s shag carpet with a fake forest on a vinyl pull-down studio photos.

Real pictures.

From our great friend and aspiring professional photographer Lois Solet.  We were absolutely blown away by what she captured.  The essence of our family completely visible in the millisecond click of a camera shutter.

Images courtesy of Lois Solet

As I scrolled through nearly 180 edited shots, I was overwhelmed by the sense of love. The joy. The potential. The life.

But then I had a momentary reality check. Like a 30 Rock Liz Lemon flashback, I remembered the totality of that two hour photoshoot in October.  I remembered what you don’t see.

My daughters arguing like Nancy Pelosi and Sarah Palin.  Me ignoring my wife’s staging request so I could update my Twitter status.  My five year old adamantly boycotting further poses like his Derek Zoolander modeling union concessions hadn’t been met. (Notice I didn’t throw my wife under the bus. She’s perfect).

All those imperfections edited out or never even captured at all. Or were they?

They more I looked, the more I realized…

These pictures aren’t beautiful because we successfully staged out all the flaws.  They’re beautiful because we’re willing (OK, at least some of the time) to admit we are flawed. Deeply flawed.

But how often do I fight the self-righteous temptation to manufacture an image that seems better than the truth? When all along, Jesus is waiting to do for us what we can never do for ourselves: Make us truly beautiful.

“God can’t stand pious poses, but he delights in genuine prayers.
-Proverbs 15:8

God, may the image of who we appear to be always reflect the true beauty of who You are in us.

PS: Thanks for the fabulous pictures and unending editing Lois. You’re a friend like very few others.