A Picture Parable

picture frame

Roberto awoke from a restful night of sleep, but as he pulled his legs from the bed, his eyes peered to the empty place on the wall.  His favorite photo had fallen, the frame shattered, and the photo ruined. He had other pictures, but the missing one was all he could think about.  A tear formed in the corner of his eye so he quickly began planning his day at work.

When he moved into his apartment three years ago, Roberto bought an empty frame thinking he’d fill it with something meaningful … someone meaningful. Instead, he kept the filler photo that came with the frame, and hung it proudly on his living room wall.  There it had been on display these many years.

At first the photo was simply something to fill the space on the wall, but as time went on it became what it really was – an empty frame with a stranger in it.  Yet Roberto clung to it and even loved it. He thought it strange how he could love something not meant for him.  Even so, he made up stories about his friendship with the man in the photo. The good times they shared abounded in his mind.

Roberto’s brother Jesus had given him a new photo, a better one, a meaningful one, a real one.  He’d personally taken the picture, chose it perfectly, and gave it to Roberto as a special gift with a handmade frame.  Roberto, however, preferred to stare at the empty space he’d come to admire. It was all he knew … a fantasy he’d come to depend upon, yet as unreal as the man in the moon or pixie dust, except in his mind.

The gift of Jesus sat on the closet shelf gathering dust.  Yes, Roberto appreciated it, and would often take it out and look at the gift he’d been given, but the empty space that had held an empty frame with a fake picture was all he could think about.

The broken frame and torn picture now sat in the trash can, and Roberto couldn’t help but cry.


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