The other day I was looking at a picture of my husband taken about five years ago in a park. My eyes were drawn to the background where I saw a child wearing blue jeans and a red shirt. He was running—frozen in the posture of pumped arms and legs.
Though he was moving quickly, though he had assumed many different poses within a few seconds’ time, in this photograph he will always be in this position—trapped—captured—no escape—freeze-framed.
Though he will change clothes many times in his life, in this photograph he will always wear blue jeans and a red shirt—trapped—captured—no escape—freeze-framed.
With each other, we can freeze-frame a hurtful action, a senseless statement, a stupid idea. Then forever in our minds, this is who that person is. He or she is characterized by the snapshot of that moment.
And yet there are so many more moments in a person’s life that define them fully. Millions of frames in the moving picture of their grace-filled, imperfect life—times of great sacrifice and love, times of noble deeds and insightful comments, times of deep faith and strong conviction.
I don’t want to be freeze-framed in anyone’s mind. And I don’t want to freeze-frame anyone else. Sometimes we don’t even know we have done it—that we have judged someone on the basis of frozen evidence.
I am so grateful that God does not freeze-frame me when I am being prideful, or when I am being selfish or jealous. Through the grace of Jesus, he lets the picture keep moving and forgives me as I go. I am never trapped or captured in my sin.
Let’s not freeze-frame each other. Let’s start the action and let people move on in our minds—let them continue to grow, mature, change…and be forgiven.