I’ve talked about this before. No one likes their own picture.  I have a zit, look a stain, why can’t I have one supermodel shot like my friends? I’m looking for one picture that makes me feel perfect.

My sister-in-law took that picture years ago. It’s my profile picture, though truth be told, I’m due for an update. I can’t be dishonest posting pictures from my 30’s after my hair’s turned grey. I age well. I’ve got some time to solve this crisis.

I’ve been photobombing teens, hoping to get a good picture. Teens have photo magic—it’s genetic, generational. They know the right angle to turn any person into a superstar. I’m hopeful the photobombing will work.

One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned from studying photos of myself is this: No one likes their own photo but they’re quick to compliment others.

It’s true for life as well.

Everybody’s always harsher on himself than others.

I am.

One day, I was drinking coffee when the Lord appeared, looking pretty good, just like he does in Monty Python movies.

“I’m a little backlogged. I need you to help solve some problems so I can get a quick lunch and renew my license,” he said.

Discovering even the Lord can’t speed up the DMV, I said, “Sure, no problem.” The Almighty’s been good to me—I’m glad to have the chance to pay him back since I can’t afford the Second Collection.

He handed me a stack of index cards. Each had a unique problem needing a solution. Every one had the name of the person asking on the back. He departed.

I kept the cards face up, getting through them quickly as possible. If the Lord only needed a week to create the world, the least I could do was finish a good chunk of the pile before he returned.  If I can’t solve the problems in public education, I can at least take a few of these day-to-day things off the Lord’s plate.

The first was a family problem. I solved it quickly. The second, a person who felt unworthy. Solved. The third, someone stuck in life. Done! A relationship problem, a health problem, a kid problem, a problem with the direction of a career.

The problems came faster. I solved them. Next card. Problem solved. Another, done. Before long, I had a pile of quality solutions stacked high enough to cover a Washington bureaucrat’s desk except for bureaucrats never have quality solutions, just piles of paper.

How long’s the Lord going to take anyway? I’ll be halfway to world peace before that DMV lady says, “Next.”

I continued to work until I ran out of cards.

“Is that all you got, Lord?” I prayed. I figured he’d hear me that way.

“You’ve done enough.” He popped back in crumpling the wrapper from his sandwich, chewing the last bite. He was holding a new license in his free hand.

“These guys,” he said, shaking his head in disapproval. “Can’t ever get a good license photo, can you?”

Even the Lord hates his license photo? That’s deep. I showed him the cards.

“Thanks,” he said. “I appreciate it. I don’t get much time off—it’s always, ‘Lord do this…Lord, can you help me with that?’ I got this one lady who’s always asking for parking spaces…it’s a lot of work.” He tossed his sandwich wrapper away. I wondered what kinds of sandwiches the Almighty ate.

“Turkey ham. Kosher. On sale.” Mind reading 101. “Thanks again.”

“No problem,” I said, “Any time.”

“Do me a favor,” he said.


“Don’t be such a stranger in the future.”

With that, the Lord disappeared, leaving his index cards behind.

“Wait, Lord! You forgot these!” The people needed their solutions. I worked hard—there were some serious problems in there.

“Lord?” He was gone.

Then I heard a noise like a thousand elephants. It wasn’t the Lord. It was the boy. He ran through the room, knocking over the cards.

“Mom! I need to show you something!”

“Sure, hold on.” I picked up the cards. They were everywhere. Some flipped showing the names on the back—the people I had helped.

Each card had the same name.


Turns out, I hadn’t given the Lord a lunch break after all. I’d been working on myself all along.

[photo credit: Wikipedia, commons]