Today's Lectionary Text
Matthew 5:16In the same way, let your light shine before people, so that they can see your good deeds and give honor to your Father in heaven.
I never met my maternal grandfather – he died when my mother was 5 years old.
But I think of Osborn Andrew Erickson whenever I take photos for the Great Plains Conference.
I don’t know much about him, unfortunately, but what I do know is that he was the resident photographer for what was then the Bellevue Evangelical United Brethren Church, a country church north of Leona, Kansas. (For those who are Kansas geography-impaired, Leona is a village of now less than 50 people in Doniphan County, in the northeastern most corner of the state.)
As the photographer, he captured the images of what was at the time a growing country church. He took pictures of the different groups in the church every year and shared them in what I believe was kind of a yearbook for the congregation.
He was so much the photographer than when he died of leukemia in 1944, there were no photos of him to be found. Indeed, the only picture of him I have seen is his wedding picture with my grandmother. Apparently, church members had to look back at years upon years of photos to find one of him — when he was in a group picture of his Sunday school class. The photo of him was enlarged (back before the days of Photoshop, of course), cut out and served as his obituary picture.
Granted, with advances in technology over seven to eight decades, I may take more frames of photos in a day than he did in his entire life. But he was, I assume, content with being the person behind the camera rather than in front of it. And I’m sure Bellevue United Methodist Church has evidence of his work still in the building.
Prayer for Reflection
Dear Lord, make us content with sometimes being behind the scenes, knowing that the work we do for You is the greatest reward of all. Amen.
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