“They make evil plans and say, ‘We have planned a perfect crime.’ The human heart and mind are a mystery.” (Psalm 64:6)

So now what do I do?  A few weeks ago I told you that I was taking some pictures of Williamsburg, VA at night.  I took about 100 pictures that evening, using the same camera and lens for every photo.  The camera was mounted on a tripod and the photos were taken using a remote shutter release and about a 5 or 6 second exposure.  In other words, the camera didn’t move and was allowed to draw in light for about 5 or 6 seconds.  As I went back through the pictures I discovered something a little strange.

This is a picture of the president’s home at William and Mary College in Williamsburg.  What’s that “thing” in the left lower corner of the picture?  I blew it up below so you could get a better look at it…


“It” is only in two photos – this one and the last one I took that evening about 90 frames later.  See what looks to be the same object just to the right of the bell tower of Bruton Parish Church in Williamsburg?


Here it is blown up….  Looks the same as the first doesn’t it?


Yet, the second “it” is in a totally different spot in the picture.  If it’s a flaw or imperfection in my lens I would expect to see it in the same position in the two photos.  What is it?  I don’t know.  Any ideas?  It’s a mystery to me…

I love a good mystery.  It has the power to draw us in and engage our senses, thoughts, and feelings.  That’s part of what I like about the mystery of God.  It’s not scary, but it is engaging if we allow it.  Remember how it feels when you start reading a good mystery novel?  You find yourself not only trying to figure out the “who done it,” but also feeling like you’re “caught up in the chase.”  It feels good.  It’s exciting!  It makes you want more!

When we give God our trust we can turn away from fear and enjoy the mystery of life.  God’s mystery can be inviting, invigorating, and exciting.  I love a good “God mystery” like the one in my photos.  Who knows what all God has in store for us?  Wow!

Having said that about God, I’m not sure mystery is quite the same thing in our relationships with each other.  The Psalmist says, “The human heart and mind are a mystery” because he’s contemplating all the evil and ill will we are capable of hiding within the mysterious caverns of our minds and hearts.  He’s talking about something dangerous, not inviting.

Relationships with one another need less, not more mystery.  We need to be clearing up a lot of the mysterious by sharing more with each other.  Mysterious caverns under the ground might be fun to explore on a vacation, but mysteries hidden from one another deep within the caverns of our minds can be treacherous for relationships.

I want more of God’s mysteries to beckon me into wonder, excitement, and joy.  I pray that God will point me toward more of the divine mysteries and help me clear up the dangerous mysteries I might have helped create in relationships with others.  How about you?

Blessings and Peace,
Pastor, Sand Hill United Methodist Church
Boaz, West Virginia

Help save lives! For more information on my new book, “A Relentless Hope: Surviving the Storm of Teen Depression,” visit

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~ by revgenelson on November 2, 2011.

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