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Picture This
Photo: Olaru Radian
A camera and a small sign; that’s all that he left there on the park bench. What he received when he developed the photos was an amusing lesson about humanity.

I recently had a chuckle as I visited the web site of a young man who liked to perform social experiments. The specific experiment that I’m referring to is straightforward and simple. This young man attached a disposable camera to a park bench with a long piece of kite string. He then taped the following sign above the camera that was tethered there:

“Good afternoon,

I attached this camera to the bench so you could take pictures.
So have fun.
I'll be back later this evening to pick it up.

Love, Jay”1

When he retrieved the camera that evening, he was pleasantly surprised to discover that the entire roll of film had been shot. He posted the pictures on his web site, and I was now intrigued enough to scan each and every one of them. Out of the 24 photos that were taken, a vast majority of them were simply of people posing on the park bench. There were couples with their arms around each other, little children waving, and friends smiling while displaying “thumbs up” signs to the camera.

Make Their Mark

A beautiful epiphany struck me from out of the blue as I gazed at those images. Every person in each of the photos seemed to be wanting to somehow make their mark on that roll of film. Each smiling face seemed to be saying, “I was here, and I hope you’ll appreciate that fact by looking at the picture.”

Could it be that the many people we come in contact with everyday feel the same way? Is it possible that the masses whom you and I pass by in the stores, on the street, or in the work place have the same desires? Do they long to share with others just how special they really are, and how this world would be a somewhat lonelier place without their unique presence?

As I perused those pictures I was reminded that as Christians it is our duty to seize available opportunities and tell people just how special they really are. And, it’s our calling to share with those people just how much the Creator loves them. Jesus spent his life doing just that, and if I’m a follower I’ll be compelled to do the same.

1 The Plug

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Michael Temple. Copyright © 2008 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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