This is the way I see Piraro’s panel today after reading from Acts Stephen’s time before the council and high priest to answer accusations that he spoke against Moses and the Law.
The Detective is Stephen, the old woman the high priest and in the line up Jesus stands alongside Abraham, Jacob, Joseph. Stephen, says, “Look again. Your Savior IS in the lineup.”
Piraro’s clever panel also made me recollect fondly the ‘Where’s Waldo’ phenomenon that erupted onto the children’s book landscape in the early nineties. That book provided hours of wonderment as page after page commanded your deepest attention to identify Waldo in the huge vast scene of a hustling and bustling humanity illustrating different pockets of the world. You might chance upon Waldo on a first glance, but to be able to find him in each separate scene required intention and focus and patience. And as time went by a person might develop his or her own honing skills to expedite the search, knowing just what to look out for in the next scene.
The HIS-story that Stephen is recounting in the reading today from Acts felt sort of like this – an intentional, focused, patient retelling of where God was throughout their history – their own private Hebrew version of a Where’s Waldo book through which Stephen is leading them. And on page after page, Stephen stops and points Him out and says to the council, “Here He is – remember?” as they look at an illustration of the hustling, bustling Egyptians and the see the Hebrews begin lead through a parted sea. “And there, look at the patriarchs kneeling before their brother Joseph? See HIM now?”
Stephen continues recounting and then he confidently, hopefully, steadfastly turns to the last page, the here and now page of the Hebrew history. And here, he says to the high priest and the council, “Look again. Your savior IS in the lineup.”
Where’s God? Where’s Jesus? The Spirit? To see and know the triune God’s presence I must be intentional, focused and patient so easily lost in the hustle, bustle of life in my little corner of the world.