God Always Sees the Big Picture

Blurry outlook? Don’t worry, writes guest blogger Daniel Kessel. God sees everything clearly.

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A photo of Dave Lacey and his wife on their wedding day. Credit: KABC-TV

Today’s guest blogger is Mysterious Ways assistant editor Daniel Kessel.

How often do you snap a picture with your cell phone? Every day? It’s become so easy to document our lives, we often take it for granted that these pictures are safely stored on our memory cards or in “the cloud.” But what happens if these precious records disappear?

A few months ago, I set out to backup my digital photos from over the years. Not just the ones from my current phone; I wanted to archive all my previous phones and memory cards, too. I meant business. How hard could it be?

Revisiting the past was a rush. I found pictures I didn’t even remember taking: friends I hadn’t seen in a while, adorable shots of my twin cousins when they were babies, pets I loved and missed. I was anxious to have these pictures backed up in a safe place.

Maybe too anxious. In my rush, I clicked the wrong button. Instead of copy, I pressed delete! Just like that, an entire era of photos vanished from the memory card. I couldn’t believe it. I was so angry with myself. How had I been so careless? Sure, they were only photos. But it felt like I’d erased memories I’d never get back.

Then, last week, a news story that associate editor Diana Aydin sent me helped put my loss in perspective. Dave Lacey of Santa Ana, California, was also inconsolable when he lost his pictures. His digital camera had been stolen, along with its priceless contents: more than 300 photos of his late wife, Erica. She had passed away from cancer at the age of 30.

Dave didn’t think he’d ever get that camera back. It was easier to accept the loss than to keep hoping he would see it again. But more than a year later, the Santa Ana Police Department got in touch with some unexpected news.

While working on a separate case of theft, police had followed a stolen computer’s GPS tracking application to the suspect’s home. There, in addition to the stolen device, they uncovered more than 20 receipts for items hawked at a local pawn shop. Among those items? A digital camera. They went to the pawn shop to investigate.

Detective Jerry Verdugo scrolled through the photos on the camera. Many were of a young couple, clearly in love. But he had no idea how he’d locate them.

Then one photo jumped out at him. “I recognized a picture of a wall and a tree and that jogged a memory,” the detective told KABC-TV. The camera had fallen into the right hands. Verdugo was able to pinpoint the neighborhood where the photo was taken, and after showing the pictures around, was able to reunite the camera–and its cherished photographs–with Dave.

Dave Lacey’s story is a keen reminder: God always has the big picture in mind, even when it looks blurry from our point of view. He hears our prayers and is attentive to our needs. Who knows? Maybe next it will be your turn to recover something priceless. The day my lost digital photos turn up, I’ll be sure to let you know. In the meantime, I’ll relive my memories the old-fashioned way–by reaching out and reminiscing with those I haven’t seen for a while.

Has God ever helped you relocate something precious you thought was gone forever? Send us your story!

Photo credit: KABC-TV Los Angeles 

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