Ever since I was a kid, I've been intrigued by gestalt pictures. These intriguing pictures contain two images, but the viewer can see only one of them at a time; as one comes to the foreground, the other recedes into the background. In one famous picture I can see either two faces or a candlestick. In another one, I can see either a young woman or an older one.
Last summer we attended a family reunion in Alberta that commemorated my husband's family's 60 years in Canada. The weekend was filled with games, food and a worship service that included the first hymns that the German immigrant family had learned in English.
My daughter was eating lunch with a friend at an inner-city diner when
they saw a painfully thin young woman stagger down the center of street
outside, her face and limbs contorted and flailing, her eyes rolled back
into her head. Soon a police car pulled up.
During Bible study one day, a lifelong member of our congregation shared a story from his boyhood. William had grown up just north of downtown Miami and was a teenager when he began taking the bus down to the church with his brother to attend Thursday's children's choir rehearsal. Soon he began to notice others who were riding with him.
Some years ago, when I was in my first pastoral appointment, I met an 11-year-old named Victor at youth court. A friend had asked me to serve as translator for Victor's father, who spoke only Spanish, because Victor was about to be tried for shooting a child in the leg with a BB gun. Violence and trouble were part of life in Victor's neighborhood.