Saturday, January 07, 2006

In His Image

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” Genesis 1:27

Our church is starting a series Sunday called “Old School”. We’ll spend the year looking at the beginnings of this journey by starting in the Old Testament. Can I tell you that I can’t wait? It’s like the best of the old Sunday School stories with an edge
My mind, roaming around in Old Testament territory, wandered to Saturday and the question of what God did on Saturday, a.k.a. Day Six. OK, Saturday is our day six and we’re on a different calendar but cut me some slack. You may already know the answer, He created me. Well, not just me but the potential of me. He created the possibility of me. And you.
I look around everyday and find Him in snowy landscapes and rushing rivers and even starry skies on my way to work. I take in the grandeur of creation and see His fingerprints but I’m missing the real fingerprints of God because they are on me. Nothing else was created in His image. Nothing else is so magnificent as His image. And that is the template for me?
I don’t feel all that spectacular. I’m tired and I don’t want to go to work. I’ve eaten too many fat free potato chips the last few days and I’m bloaty. I can’t imagine God is ever bloaty. I am easily distracted, discouraged and disenchanted. If I were the Creator, I’d have called it quits on Day Five.
But no, on the sixth day He was back on the job. Having flung the solar system into place, scooped out the oceans and sent the earth spinning into the days and seasons in which we still live, God created man and woman. With the ability to procreate. So someday He would have me.
It seems sometimes like maybe He started the job and took an extended coffee break that He isn’t back from yet. The only image of God I see is my five-fingered hands and five-toed feet. It’s like He had a good start, two eyes, one nose, a head. But then the really good stuff, the God stuff, got overlooked.
However, I’m questioning, when did I decide that “in his own image” meant physical characteristics? The image of God might be more than flowing hair and piercing eyes. Don’t go nuts, I’m not suggesting that God doesn’t “look” like we imagine, as if we could imagine. I’m saying that there might be a long buried potential for His image in me. There might be a treasure buried in the Garden of Eden that is supposed to be me. The image of God, stamped on my DNA. My potential and the possibility of my life breathed into reality on Day Six. In all that creative fury, in the painting of the flowers and the sculpting of the mountains did God have something more in mind for me than a face?
My mom and dad passed on certain physical characteristics to me. I have his chin, something of her in my eyes, shades of them both that are hard to describe. I think I have the same elusive shades of God in me too. But I also inherited her voice, his need for justice, her sense of humor, his sense of family, her nurturing, his values. Some of the invisible is visible in me. All those years ago in Eden on Day Six, what potential did God lay over my DNA from His perfect image? Do I love like Him? Would I give unlimited second chances? Do I cloak people in grace? How far does my mercy extend? Do I act kind, or am I kind? Would I give my only begotten son for a world who would reject Him?
I want to live up to my potential. I want to see more of God in my own heart than in all of creation. I want Him to look on me from His throne and say, “That’s why I created her.” So God created the potential for Sara in His own image, in the image of God created He what Sara can become. You and me and all of us, He created. With potential. With enough second chances to find the way back to our Father’s DNA. In His image.

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