“Religion is only a shadow of what is coming — the body that cast the shadow is Christ,” (Colossians 2:17).

Kudos to our son-in-law, Craig, for his imaginative gift to our daughter, Naomi: a cutout featuring our beautiful grandchildren.

I’ll be the first to say “you can’t beat the originals”; our Orlando grands are (as all grandparents say) the most beautiful children in the world. But this silhouette stopped me in my tracks. What is it about the simple form that grabs me so strongly?

I think it’s because all we need is an outline, or a clue, and our deeper consciousness fills in the remainder of the details.

This is why, when I wrote profile pieces for the Tribune, my subjects always said, “You didn’t miss a thing” or “You got it so right, there wasn’t anything else you could have written.”

Of course I left out tons of stuff. The key is to recognize — like the line of a forehead or the angle of a nose on a profile — what illuminates the essential story.

My interviews would typically generate 3,000 words of copy. But if you cut the profile properly, then the mind — the soul — fills in the rest of the details and you have a complete picture.

A few years ago, I flew to England for my cousin Linda’s funeral. Her brother, Peter, was told to limit her eulogy to seven minutes or less. “That’s impossible,” he said.

“Not at all,” I counseled. “You have more than enough time. Your task is to draw the outline, then everyone listening will fill in the shading and the details. They will say you didn’t miss a thing.”

So, when I see the silhouette of my grandchildren, I get the whole picture. Plus the noise, and the motion, and the hugs, and the fun, and the tears, and the silliness, and the full-on unfiltered life that hits you head-on like a college football team bursting through the banner at the start of the game.

Nice one, Craig. It really is all there; you didn’t miss a thing.


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Derek Maul
Derek Maul has written for many news outlets, including the Tampa Tribune, The United Methodist News Service, All Pro Dad, FOCUS Magazine, Newsweek, USA Today, The Christian Science Monitor, Presbyterians Today, Guideposts, Chicken Soup for the Soul and many other publications. Read Derek Maul’s daily blog posts at www.derekmaul.wordpress.com.