Autographs

I have an autographed picture of Moses in my office. You think I’m kidding? Well, it's a photo of Charlton Heston in the role of Moses from the movie, The Ten Commandments. Since he died a believer in Christ, I have always thought that the meeting of Heston with the original Moses in heaven would be one I’d like to see.

There was a period in time when I was a rather serious collector of autographs. In particular, I collected those of Los Angeles sports teams. I had Sandy Koufax, Wally Moon, Don Drysdale and Duke Snider. I also had Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays on a baseball. For the Lakers, I had Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West, Magic Johnson and had to pay through the nose to get Kobe Bryant on a particular card collectible. I had Michael Jordan. When Wayne Gretzky came to join the Los Angeles Kings hockey team, I went to a street event and got his autograph there.

There were categories I thought about going into. To get all four Beatles on a single piece would have likely cost around $10,000, and it would have to include a certificate of authenticity by someone who was a Beatles expert. I seriously considered getting such an autograph. The world of autographs is quite a big place.

One time at a church I was pastoring, a woman member showed me her deceased aunt’s autographs. It was amazing because she had been a 1930s Hollywood hairdresser that specialized in men. She had autographed pictures like Gary Cooper and an autograph book that had Cecil B. DeMille and a host of other big names. Her best autograph was of a woman, not personally addressed, which made it all the more valuable. It was Amelia Earhart! 

Recently a pastoral friend showed his surprisingly advanced and valuable early Adventist book collection. He just had to show me the inner leaf of one of them. It had a beautiful signature of James White. Autographs make such items so much more personal.

The Lord told me that I was a bit too deep in my own collection of signatures, and I have since sold the vast majority of them.

Besides the monetary value that certainty exists in autographs, why are they so sought after? It is because they are a tangible connection with someone we value and admire. They connect us with those we wish we were closer to.

The apostle Paul sometimes closed his epistles with his personal signature. It had the effect of authenticating the letter. Certainly THE most significant item ever personally written by a celebrity, so to speak, is the Ten Commandments! Written by the “finger of God” on stone, the specialness and the uniqueness of it is priceless. We are told that the original will be revealed prior to the Second Coming, and thus preserved for future study, in a museum in heaven and the new earth perhaps. I wonder what God’s writing looks like.

Would it be okay to get autographs in our future world? How about a group picture signed by the 12 sons of Jacob or the 12 apostles? How about Abraham Lincoln or Martin Luther or Martin Luther King, Jr. or Ellen White? I know we will see them.

The best one would be from Jesus and personalized to me. I would hang it by my front door so that I could see it often. I am guessing that before He would sign His name, He would add, “Love,”.

Author

Stan Hudson

North Pacific Union Conference creation ministries director
Section

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