I shook my head in disbelief. Except for a change in the placement of the staircase, the two structures looked almost identical right down to the unusual-looking decorative pillars and windows. Maybe my eyes were deceiving me so I asked my husband to come in and take a look at the pictures. Wordlessly I handed him the two pictures. He looked at them carefully and said, "Except for the stairs being different, this looks like the same place."
He took a closer look at both pictures. He pointed to the earlier picture and then the more recent photograph. "See, you can tell where the stairs used to go up the side and it looks like they removed this section of the balcony and made one big flight of stairs down the middle instead of having two flights on either side."
"So it is not my imagination that these two pictures are of the same building?"
"Nope. I don't think so. Where is it?"
I picked up the older picture and pointed to a small figure in the crowd standing at the edge of the balcony. "That's me and it was taken in June 1978 when I was in California for an intensive two week Bible training course offered through the denomination I belonged to when I was a girl.
"So you found a picture of the building today?"
"Yeah, it looks like I did."
"Why did you do that?"
I sighed. Awhile ago, I had joined a Facebook group for people who had grown up in that same denomination. People were re-connecting with old friends, sharing memories and posting pictures. I had come across this picture while going through a photo album and thought I would post it. Everything was fine until a woman told me that the picture had been taken at a particular college rather than the one I named. Hmm...
I didn't want to tell her she was mistaken but at the same time, the name she said was unfamiliar to me so I decided to do a bit of research. In doing so, I discovered that while the college name had changed since 1978, it was not the name she had said. I shared that information only to be told that she had lived in that town and in fact had gone to that college. Hmm... it still did not seem right so I dug around a bit more.
I found an image of the building she said it was and it looked nothing like the building in my picture. The architecture was all wrong. Perhaps they had torn the old building down. Perhaps they had torn that building down and that's why they were different. I thought a bit and decided to do a bit more detective work. I went back to the homepage for the college I had said it was at. I dug around a bit and sure enough, there was a picture of the building today. It was unmistakable. Other than the alteration of the stairs the two buildings were unmistakable.
I uploaded the two pictures to my post so she could see them but I did not get the reply I expected. Despite the evidence I was told I was wrong. It was not College A. It was College B. She didn't care that the pictures were the same. She had lived in that town for a number of years, attended College B and that was that. Nothing could convince her otherwise, not even when she saw the picture on the website of College B.
There is a difference between being steadfast and stubborn. One is a good trait, the other is not and yet how often have I myself dug my heels in, insistent that I know what I am talking about or doing even when there is clear evidence that I am mistaken.
We must remember that unlike God, we do make mistakes, jump to wrong conclusions, get mixed up, or believe something is right when it is not. Rather than admit that there is a chance we might be wrong, we ignore all the evidence, refusing to stop even for a moment and ask ourselves the question, "Is there a chance that maybe, just maybe I am not right 100% of the time and I should examine the evidence before dismissing it?"