Friday Fives: Five Photos That Will Preach

Advertising executive Fred Barnard is credited with saying, in 1927, “One picture (is) worth ten thousand words.” I’ve heard it, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”

Regardless, I think it’s clear that some pictures are worth even more, especially to those of us who communicate as a staple of ministry.

So, the simple theme of this Friday Fives is: Photos that are worth so many words, they just may preach. These are photos I’ve kept in my “Illustrations” file because they indeed all “say” something. The only requirement for the list is a photo with significant meaning without the advantage of having been photoshopped or in some other way manipulated.

Finally, before you scroll down, some would consider some of these to be graphic..

#5: United in Life and...

The photo at number 5 is from a cemetery in Roermond, The Nethlerlands. It shows two grave sites joined by hands being held. They are the graves of a Catholic woman and her Protestant husband. The wife wanted to be buried next to her husband, but the difference in their denominations would not allow it. So the husband was buried in the Protestant section, next to the wall that separated the two different sites. When his wife died 8 years later, she was was buried on the Catholic side. But they found a way to build a bridge.



#4: All Fun and Games

The photo at number four always makes me smile. And I didn’t want all of the photos to be serious. From the May 31, 2012 Abilene Reporter News: The message isn’t an original. An employees at the hospital found the phrase on the social media website Pinterest and decided to use it for their sign, said Lisa Rosas, veterinary technician. “We thought it was funny, and a lot of the animals that come in here end up in cones,” she said. “We thought it just made sense.”



#3: 9-11 Hero

You likely know the story of Franciscan Priest Father Mychal Judge, one of the heroes of 9-11. Bill Cosgrove, the now-retired police lieutenant shown in the photo in the white shirt, remembers Father Judge: “He’s always been on my mind ever since then, because it’s my firm belief that the only reason I’m here today is because of him.” Judge was among the early responders. He entered the north tower to help and pray for victims, which is what he was doing – out loud – when he was killed, according to his biographer Michael Daly: “Jesus please end this!”

Photo by Shannon Stapleton/Reuters /Landov —


#2: For Those I Love

Hard to be a Christian and a former Marine as I am and not be impacted by the photo at number two.  In the shot, taken by Stars and Stripes photographer Laura Rauch, PFC Kyle Hockenberry, bearing the tattoo – For those I love, I will sacrifice – is being treated by medic Corporal Amanda Mosher. From the Time article: A member of the 1st Infantry Division, Hockenberry’s world changed June 15. He was on a foot patrol just outside Haji Ramuddin, Afghanistan, when an improvised explosive device detonated nearby.  PFC Hockenberry, 19, lost both legs and his left arm in the blast.

No matter how you feel about the war, please don’t forget the men and women and their families who make breath-taking sacrifices on our behalf.


Photo by Laura Rauch —


#1: Psalm 17

It would take me multiple posts to describe why this photo is very personal for me. There was no question that it should be at number one.

So I’ll just show you the photo and let you understand it however you will.


Shadow of His Wings




  1. […] July 25 Friday Fives – Five Photos That Will Preach – received unprecedented response on So, it was an easy decision to make […]