Or is it?
Write as long a description as you are possibly able on any picture, and even with more than a thousand words, have you really captured that picture? Is the Mona Lisa really that condensable? How clearly can a person see a picture from a person's description?
I know it's just an expression. But the meaning behind a picture being worth a thousand words is that it is so wonderful, so beautiful, so very captivating that it would take time and effort to give it due diligence. And yet... it still falls short, doesn't it?
No one can tell you what a sunset REALLY looks like.
Imagine trying to explain God to someone. You've probably tried before. How do you take all his grandeur and glory and ball it up into a pitiful little human description? You can't! Take a picture of a beautiful vista, and you get a 2-D version of something pretty.
Take a picture of God, and you get just the barest glimpse of his true essence.
It used to be that seeing God's face meant instant death. Moses asked to see the glory of God, but God said, “'You cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live'” (Exodus 33 : 20). How powerful must he be that one could not gaze upon him! There is no capturing that.
I imagine my reaction to seeing God would be like that of John's at the beginning of the book of Revelation:
“When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his tight hand on me and said: 'Do not be afraid. I and the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.'”
(Revelation 1 : 17-18)
Now there's a great picture: a gentle hand, a gentle word, and a reminder that death has been conquered and we need not fear!
Another great image of God is in Jesus himself:
“The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.”
We need only look in the Bible for example of God's greatness.
However pixellated, snowy, or grainy our images of God are, though, should not be a deterrent to our proclaiming his glory in this aching world. We are his light and his workers (Matthew 5:14-16), and you could say we are pictures of God walking this earth.
Have you ever seen one of those pictures that is actually a collage of variously shaded tiny pictures? It's kind of like that—each one of us brings a little bit different color and shape to the bigger picture that is giving glory God, to be finalized on that day when he comes back (1 Corinthians 15:52-54, Ephesians 1:10, Titus 2:13-14, Revelation 1:7).
We can take comfort in 1 Corinthians 13:12:
“Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”
How awesome it will be to finally see God face to face and know the completeness of his glory! Until that time, how can you paint a picture of God? We look forward with joy to what will be!
See You In The Round!
*Scripture quotations are from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.