One of the very worst things about being a missionary is that you have to have this thing called a “prayer card”. It’s kind of like a rule…
The rule says that you have to have your picture taken with your whole family, and you all have to be smiling and matching and stuff. Somewhere on this perfect happy family picture, you have to print junk like your name and where to send “gifts”. Then you have to give this picture to everyone you’ve ever known. After that, you carry a stash around with you and give them to every one you meet. It’s like a business card, only bigger…and more obnoxious.
Two things about Prayer Cards; They are generally lame. ~ and ~ They are generally a lie.
I mean come on. Are we really supposed to believe that you all like each other that much? Is your color scheme trying to convince us of some kind of peaceful and balanced harmony that surrounds you because you serve the Lord by vocation? Is this single frame, this fraction of a smiling second, a fair representation of your family? Because, dang, if it is? That’s just….scary… And, I don’t buy the whole “we’re so happy because Jesus gave us these matching denim shirts” scenario. No. Just..no.
But, the thing is, if you wanna do this missions thing, you gotta have a Prayer Card. You just have to, there’s no getting around it…believe me. So a couple of weeks ago, my family headed out to a secluded spot with a talented photographer to pretend for five minutes the we can stand each other. Originally, the plan was to just do a Christmas card. It was supposed to be just the kids and I told them they could wear whatever they want (totally against the rules, but whatever). I just wanted one fake smiling picture of my kids pretending to love each other to send to all the people that support us and pray for us. That doesn’t seem like too much to ask, does it?
The photographer took over 200 shots. Today she gave me a disk with like 30 pictures on it. “The good ones.” Thirty! Thirty that include, um, this one:
Nothing says “Merry Christmas from your favorite missionaries” like (from front to back) duck-lips!, pre-teen skeezer in a Santa hat, and OMG-my-brothers-are-retards.
And then there’s this one:
Yeah, there’s kind of a lot going on here; A) Santa kid looks like he’s been huffing industrial adhesive. B) The big guy is either swearing a blue streak, or saying the word “Rawk” – neither of which is ok. Aaand, C) I’m pretty sure the little creeper on the right needs an exorcism…
Um, for real kid? Why do you have to look like a pshyco right now?
So, then I flipped my lid and started screaming and yelling about just wanting one decent picture of my children before I die, and could they PLEASE? Just for ONE. FREAKING. SECOND. pretend like we are a NORMAL. FREAKING. FAMILY….PLEASE?!
When they came back, the photographer suggested that we try to grab a couple of shots with the whole family!
“Wait…Like this? Where are we looking? Should I stop talking so you can take a picture? Smile, kids, smile!”
In the end, we got the shot. The perfect picture for our 2010 Prayer Card. A picture that says, “Oh, Yes! These are the people I want representing Christ in Latin America!” Ladies and Gentleman, I give you the most awesome Prayer Card pic in the history of the world!:
It’s a thing of beauty, is it not? Ok, it’s true that it breaks all the rules of Prayer Card etiquette. But, seriously, how could we not use this? Everybody is gonna want a copy of this stuck to their stainless steel fridge! Right?
The only thing missing is the caption, and the names and crap. I am totally open to suggestions, but I’m thinking something like:
These are No Ordinary Missionaries – Pray for Costa Rica!
But, what do you think? Any ideas?