In his own image he made them. In the image of God he made them. In his image he made us, you and me.
The girl, not exactly attractive, stood at the counter waiting for the clerk to make change for her. She looked over her shoulder to the row of tables and their guests facing her. Her eyes met those of a young man at one of the tables. She smiled.
Internally the debate raged, would he smile at her? Physical beauty is esteemed, and what's not beautiful, we offer little attention or affection.
Her smile, though, revealed to him the truth, a truth not dependent on his reaction of approval or disdain. She was made by God. God had her in mind. And God smiled when he looked upon her. Despite what she did or did not possess in the way of physical beauty, beauty made her and resided there. He had cast her in his own image.
He recognized the picture of God she carried; he smiled with gratitude, with admiration. For she reflected God's image.
The dying man lay on a bed in Calcutta. He'd been there a week, and had maybe one more left in him. His impoverished life was evident by his weathered body. Wasted, worn, wracked with pain, this body had lived hard and alone. And now his nails needed clipping.
The young nun cupped his heel softly, looked at him gently and smiled. One by one, she clipped his toenails. She saw the image of God.
The uniqueness of God's creation and creativity resides within each of us. Like snowflakes, each person has an individual stamp, a mark of singularity and personal attention from the Creator. Thus, each person merits our attention and respect. Yet to see the image of God in each other, we must look beyond skin color, titles, socioeconomic status, clothing, age, and even behavior and attitudes to see the handiwork of God. It takes time and discipline to learn to see others like this. It takes patience to look until you actually "see."
We bear his image. Will we recognize this in each other? Will we help one another believe in our identity as image-bearers of God? When we see the homeless man begging at the intersection, or the lobbyist walking the statehouse halls? The young couple trying to pay their mortgage, the pastor struggling with his children, the single mother putting herself through school, the president of the United States? They're all made in the image of God, and we need see that.
Others need that from us. We need that from each other. May we begin looking that we might see each other as God sees us, and in so doing, see more of his love in this world.
What are the implications of believing someone bears God's image?
How does this change how we see them, interact with them?
How does this change us?
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