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They asked me to shoot pictures at the birthday party.  And shoot pictures I did: posed groups, informal shots, family groupings, silly moments—some 462 photos in all. The heat and humidity were so smothering, it's a wonder the lens didn't fog over. Or melt shut. 

Between shutter clicks, I recognized one of the relatives. We’ll call her Sarah.  Years ago, reliable sources told us Sarah and her husband had taken their kids to a Bible-believing church where they got involved in Awana.  But the kids were now in high school.  So was the family still actively attending?

I took her picture and struck up a conversation, eventually asking, “Do you guys have a church home?” 

“We used to,” she said.  Was that a wistful tone in her voice?  “But not any more.” 

"Well, you know," I offered with a smile, “Ya could go back.”  Pause.

“We could.”

“Yep. You could go back.”

She smiled. After that, it was just small talk.  Part of me was sad to learn of their drifting.  Part of me was glad to be able to offer her a welcome back.

Maybe you—or someone you love—has drifted.  Hear me carefully.  Whether you've drifted a little or a lot, God has a word for you: "Come back!"  Come back.  You are still loved, still valued, still precious in His sight.  So—come back.

 

This is how the LORD responds: “If you return to me, I will restore you so you can continue to serve me.” 

—Jeremiah 15:19

 

 

 

 

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Jon GaugerJon Gauger

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Jon Gauger Media 2016