My eldest daughter turned 18 this week. Much like her mum, she’s not a lover of the camera, gets a bit fidgety and forgets how delightful her smile is just as soon as you point a lens in her face.
Despite that though, I couldn’t not mark the occasion on social media. If nothing else, I know her younger sister will love having her photo all over the place when it’s her turn. I’d hate to look like I was showing favouritism by posting about one daughter’s journey into adulthood and not another!
And so I ended up taking some arty shots of the decorations, a pretty banner and a handwritten blackboard. Happy birthday greetings without the drama. Win!
It was as I was quietly sipping coffee at the start of her special day though that the sputnik light fitting in the kitchen caught my attention and Sam whispered into my soul …
“You look for the best angle, the best lighting. I look at the heart. All of life is like an act. You put on your best show for the outside world and keep the pickle inside your head.
Don’t lose sight of the fact that I see the pickle every time — and I still love you. There’s no performance with m. No “front of house” and “backstage” area. It’s all life and it’s all you and no, you’re not going to show everything to everyone, that takes vulnerability and can be risky in a world obsessed with appearances.
But you’re here to shine a light into the dark spaces, to bring light to those hidden things so they can be healed (if healing is needed) or simply recognised.
And you’re to do all of it with love — letting me help you — us doing love together.
You know the grime and the damp spots but I can turn those dirty smudges into light catchers if you let me — just like how dust can dance and shimmer on a bright, sunny day.
Sunshine — Son shine — changes everything!
You are radiant and I love you. It’s time to let my Son shine in and through your life!”