I have started the new devotional book Live Second: 365 Ways to Make Jesus First. Day 1 began with watching Dr. Tony Evans' Second film. Day 2 focused on Image. This combination makes me rethink what image really means.
Genesis 1:27 "God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them."
Dr. Evans describes the reality of growing up as a black male in Baltimore. It seemed like his life story had been written at birth. As a black male, there were places he could not go. There were people he could not associate with. His career would be limited to those jobs suitable for a black man. Those thoughts seem unimaginable to me. Baltimore is not Montgomery, Alabama. Maryland was even a border state during the Civil War, land scarred by battles and households divided. The story of segregation is not told here. Racism--yes, even now. Segregation--no. Just a few weeks ago I was completely floored by a racist comment made by a strong Christian who still clings to past experiences. How could he judge an entire ethicity by a few people? There is still an acceptability of racism when touted as humor. The air of superiority lingers even within the church.
The God of our universe created us, all of us, in his image. He had every single person in mind on Day 6 of creation when as the passage says he "created mankind in his own image." Some where along the way I heard the phrase "God doesn't make junk." It's the truth. He gave every single person the opportunity to be loved. This world may not respect every person but God the Father created each individual and more importantly he loves every person.
If every person we encountered looked just like us, would we be able to degrade them? If as the homeless person on the street glanced at us we saw our own face, would we care more? The diversity of God's creation allows everyone to be beautiful and worthy.
God's image isn't limited to White, Middle to Upper Class Americans. His image includes those of African, Latino, Hispanic, Eastern European, Native American, and Middle Eastern decent. His image includes men, women, and children. His image includes wealthy and poor alike. God's image transcends the ethnicity and status of our birth or earthly work.
My thoughts drift back to holding my friends' son yesterday morning--putting stickers on a picture, coloring, playing cars with my son and his friends. Is he worth less than the other children in that class because he was born in Africa?
I think NOT! He is God's son, made in his image. He is worthy of love and respect, even without the fact that he's cute (and that's not just coming from his "favorite aunt").
We are ALL made in God's image. How do we choose to live?