Inside the Frame


It’s the term that describes how actors are framed within a scene. It is how the director places characters so the story is best told.

It’s a very French word for framing.

We all do it. When we take a photograph whether on film or digital. Whether you intend to print it and hang it on the wall or put it up on instagram, you frame the moment.  When taking the photo, you keep or take away that which you want to remember or forget.

We do that with life most of the time. We look at the moments framed by the present. We see the here and now and understand our past or future within that context. What is often forgotten, what is often left outside of the frame, is that the Author of our lives is outside of time.

This past week I had the absolute privilege of taking up 14 of our youth up to the mountains along with 3 of our other youth leaders. One night as we were getting everyone to bed I stopped in the hall to speak with one of the pastors leading the camp. She and I started talking and realised that we had a mutual friend, from Canada, in common. As we spoke, we found out that actually we have a couple of friends in common. I was so excited. First, having any connection to something from home but even more because it was an answer to a prayer from earlier in the evening.

You see, being in Sweden, is really not where I thought I would be. In fact, if I’m completely honest, which I try to be on here, I did not think (or rather I hoped) that I would not leave London single. Don’t get me wrong I have no inherent problem being single I just didn’t think that I would have to start again, “all alone”. I sat in our evening service and cried, trying to hide the tears as they fell with no control down my face. Part exhaustion, but mainly simply the feeling that I had been left all alone to start over again, in a country where I’m just beginning to speak the language, still having those moments where I laugh, simply because someone else is, and where I’m still adjusting to the differences in culture. Where, being a student again, I’m just not sure what is next. Of course I’m living life here as if I’m staying forever, but I don’t have a crystal ball and like anyone, it’s not always easy to know what that next step is going to be.

It was just a moment, and I stopped, prayed and just asked God, again, to give me a sign, a big one, to remind me of His goodness, His plans, His grace on my life.

And He did…in the form of one blonde, Swedish pastor.

You see, that meeting reminded me of what brought me to Sweden. Sure I went back to school to do my MSc. Practically, that brought me out here, but more than that I can see now that it was so much more. If I look back at the snap shots of life I look at moments I have framed individually in my mind.

1) I was 12 years old and I met LJ whose older sister KA would later become a dear friend and end up living in Stockholm.

2) My mom took me to “dinner in Sweden” one night when I was visiting her when she was living in Denmark.

3) Randomly meeting a guy from Gothenburg in London and learning to count from 1-10 in Swedish while trying to stay awake all night to catch our flights.

4) Connecting A into her first connect group in London and she eventually moved back to Stockholm and became part of our church here.

5) Moving to London and shortly after, meeting another A, who eventually moved back to Stockholm and is part of Hillsong here as well.

6) Meeting D on the Underground in London and then KA ending up in her connect group in Stockholm.

7) Coming to Stockholm from London, for work and realising how many people I knew already…

Seven simple and very brief snapshots of life. Individually, they mean nothing. They are simply pictures put in frames, memories, good times, moments left in the past.

But put pictures together and flip them really fast and what you get is a film.

There’s a theory in Film studies called the Auteur theory. It says that the film directly correlates to the author’s vision.

My life, your life, has an author. He began my story many many years ago. He wrote it perfectly and with such care to ensure every detail was carefully written out as to make the perfect life for you. Things are not always going to go perfectly and there may be a few extra shots in their that are not ideal, but the film has an ending and with Him all things are worked out for good.

I may not know how my film ends yet (and believe me, I am confident that there is still much more to be accomplished) but now, as I look back at the “dailies” of my life so far (that which has been already filmed), then I see that the Author of my life has a strong, firm vision and I can fully trust in it.

Trust in the Lord, with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding…Proverbs 3:5


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