Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Owning My Imago Dei

"Where the Imago Dei is not understood or valued, it is the weak and the vulnerable who are abused and consumed." -Matt Chandler, A Beautiful Design

Throughout history, this has been proven over and over again. A simple list of current events prove that this truth is true still.

In countries across the globe, women are still considered second class. Large people groups are discriminated against due to their birth place, skin color and religion. Babies are literally thrown into rivers because of gender or disability if they are even given the opportunity to inhale a first breath. Slavery still exists. According to most statistics, it is more rampant and wide spread then ever before.

None of this is new news to anyone.

Yet it seems so big, too big. It is just too far away from our dreams of shiplap living rooms, busy schedules shuttling kids to various lessons and practices, and cluttered church calendars. 

We can't relate.

Or can we?

  • A few years ago, we were vacationing in Pigeon Forge with good friends. Their teen daughter and I were walking out of a local Kroger behind a young lady. She was barely dressed in not a whole lot. I commented to my companion how sad it was that this girl in front of us didn't know and understand how valuable she was. Working with teens for over 20 years, I cannot count the number of girls that traded their dignity and virginity for the fleeting feelings of their peers' acceptance and a boy's "love."  I could name those who became mommas while still being babies themselves. I know and love one teen couple that chose abortion.
  • A young man, who was in my 12th grade Sunday School class a few years back, approached me asking for prayer last week. He was nervous. He was meeting his first real girlfriend's parents for the first time. They had already told their daughter that they didn't approve of him. His skin isn't the same color as theirs. I apologized - not for my prejudice, but for theirs. I honestly cannot imagine someone not liking me because of something I have no control over, the color of my skin.
  • There is a mother of a couple of kiddos at church. Her husband served our United States Army as an interpreter in their homeland. She has applied for citizenship here, but now faces a ton of uncertainty. Not only is she now a widow and a Christian, but she fears being forced to return to a country where she would be considered an infidel and a traitor. As a woman, her options there are extremely limited and her support system non-existent.
  • My mother-in-law will soon join Jesus in her eternal home. These last days and weeks of hers have been far from easy. They have been pain-filled and humiliating as the drugs that have been intended to aid her have led to her complete dependence upon caring strangers in the forms of nurses, therapists and aides. I will never forget the look in her eyes and her grip on my hand as they changed her involuntarily soiled sheets without removing her from the hospital bed. They were gentile and respectful and kind. My mother-in-law who lived her life on her terms with sass and flair was, and, as I type, is completely at their mercy. 

These are not statistics to me. They are people with faces and names I know. They make all these "issues" we call politics tangible and real. They make me feel compassion and anger and helpless all at that same time. I pray for these. I reach out to these. I strive to serve these.

I may just be one person. But God can do an awful lot with one person. I may not be in the position to end sex trafficking or racial profiling or assisted suicide, but by being transparent and present to those God has placed in my life I can be the Image of God to them. The Holy Spirit can use me to show them, Him.

I can fight back against the sinful consequences of mankind's perverted version of what we were created to be, by allowing God to display His image in me.

How am I choosing to combat the darkness and despair? By owning my Imago Dei.

1 comment:

Sara said...

There isn't much to be added, but a simple "Amen"! I am in tears.