Last week I enjoyed the privilege of taking my mum out to lunch (no, that's not a picture of anyone taking my mum out to lunch; it's my brother Geoff and his granddaughter, Haley!).
Mum was the birthday girl that day, and it was another one of those occasions when I'm so thankful to have a flexible schedule and a job that allows me to plug in some family time whenever possible.
We had the actual celebration the previous weekend. Rebekah and I came down from Brandon, my brother Geoff lives close by in Sarasota, and my niece Hannah was there along with her husband, Drew, and their two kids, Haley and Hudson.
Quite the contrast from my more recent nieces and nephews experience (read the series of 4 posts)! My niece Hannah is thirty and has her own babies! This, of course, makes my OLDER brother a grandfather.
But it's also why he gets the coveted "lead picture" in today's blog. It's all about the relationship. That's what a good photograph does - it tells you a lot more than the "who" and the "where". Photography that works says something profound about the "so-what", and the so-what in this picture is the redemptive nature of relationships. Hannah and her family have been the presence of God to my brother in so many ways.
This is Hannah and her husband, Drew. Hannah works with children and families for the state, and Drew is shoring up his medical credentials. My niece has a generous heart and a very sharp brain. She was raised in a religiously fundamental environment, and it's been interesting to see how her intelligence and compassion have combined with real world experience to effect a shift in theology that makes for some illuminating conversation. She also has an interest in political science and has become very adept at stating her case. She is a thinking Jesus-follower with a deep sense of social responsibility; it's a stance I wish more of the "Loud for God" crowd could see their way to adopt.
Their son, Hudson, is a squeezable toddler at the moment and his personality is emerging as good-natured and easy-going. But this blog is really about the pictures, so I'll leave you with the set up to my mum's official birthday portrait.
Look at this photograph... What do you see? There's a transference here; the passing on of something important. Let me trace if for you, from left to right. My brother Geoff's hands... to his granddaughter Haley's heart... to her brother Hudson's aspirations (see how he is watching his big sister?). And then, in the final photograph, to their great-grandmother's joy.
Nice way to share a birthday.
Family, it [can be] all about redemption.