Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | January 17, 2016

The Moments of Our Lives

I grew up in the days before smart phones put a camera at the disposal of half the people on the planet. Some of you remember those days of old when taking photos actually involved loading film into a camera. Because taking photos was a big deal, most folks did not bother to waste film on candid shots. Posed shots were the order of the day. And, when our film was developed, we posted our favorite pics in photo albums or photo frames and archived the rest in old shoeboxes.

My Dad was an avid photographer and took lots of family pics when we were growing up. We have shoeboxes full of old photos ranging from grainy black and white photos with serrated edges to those early low-resolution color photos. Because film was costly and no one carried a camera with them everywhere they went, my generation does not have archives of hundreds of candid photos — and certainly no selfies to look back on.

Today, technology has made us all photographers. We are, in many ways, fortunate because we have the capability to take everyday candid shots — the kind of pics that capture the moments of our lives in an instant. And, we can instantly post our favorite pics to our social media accounts and then invite the world to peruse our albums.

Smart Phone Pics
There is also a downside to living in a world of instant digital photography — and that is that we can take too many photos of special moments and actually miss what makes those moments so special. I confess that too often I have fallen victim to seeing life through my smartphone instead of through my own eyes.

I love capturing moments on my camera but in recent years have also opted for just enjoying more of those special moment sans camera. There is something to be said for what Mary did when the shepherds stopped by to see the baby Jesus. Without a camera to record the moment, she did something better. According to Luke, “Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart” (Luke 2:19).

What started me thinking about the candid moments of our lives was another old photo that made its way out of a shoebox into my sister’s hands. The photo was one of several taken at my grandparents home around 1960 when my cousins traveled to South Texas for a visit. This was a very special occasion, so the family got together to pose for photos.

Havice Family Pic
What I especially love about the photo that surfaced this week is what is happening in the background. While my cousins and their folks posed for the photo, my mom and I are seated in the background — a candid moment unintentionally captured on film. I wish I could go back to that moment and eavesdrop on whatever it was my beautiful mother was telling me as she looked in my direction.

While I was too young to remember whatever it was my mom or I might have talked about as we sat side by side on my grandparents back porch, I absolutely love this photo. It reminds me that even when I was a child, my sweet mother was always looking in my direction — a thought that comforts me still today. I wish I had more candid shots like this but am more than content to have this photo to treasure and to ponder in my heart.


  1. Pastor Omar,

    Thank you for always finding a special way to remind us what is important. Your blogs are a blessing to many.

    Bless you, brother.

    • Thanks, Jack. I appreciate your kind words.

  2. Omar,

    No doubt about it…you are a writer as you said in North Darfur even before you starting blogging!

    That all may hear, Jerry

    • North Darfur. Wow, Jerry. Seems like a hundred years ago that we were there.

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