"So God created man in his own image; he created him in the image of God; he created them male and female." Genesis 1:27
Imago Dei, what would it look like if we really lived like we truly believed every human being was created in the image of God? Including the guy who cut you off in traffic. The boss intent on making your day miserable. The child breaking your heart. Again. The former friend doing her best to ruin your reputation. The church member rubbing you the wrong way. That dishonest business, that's trying to rip you off and winning. Your political opponents. Your negligent landlord. Your obnoxious, scary neighbor. Your ex. And his girlfriend. All of them knit together in his or her mother's womb by the same Artist that spoke the universe and all its varied wonders into being. All of them created and cherished.
It's a risky proposition. Our vulnerable hearts are intent on dividing humanity into neat categories with hidden titles - love, like, tolerate, dislike, can't stand. Protecting ourselves behind a carefully crafted shield of neglect, indifference, and even hate. Not my religion. Not my denomination. Not my political affiliation. Not my type. Not my people.
But protection is a deceptive illusion and is ultimately destructive. When we construct fences and build walls to "protect" our neat categories and hard hearts, it's like stepping on our oxygen line. Because love is like air.
Inhale. Exhale. Both directions. And it better not stop, or you'll pass out. We are made for love. Sure, there is plenty of hard work involved. But when we choose to set aside our prejudices and silence the anxious judge and jury of our minds, we find that we hold two things fundamentally in common with everyone: 1) the image of God and 2) our need for His grace. Suddenly, we are the acquitted and the only justice to share the unmerited favor we've received. And love becomes simple.
"A Moment to Breath"
Imago Dei. All of us. Created in God's image. Ask God to open your eyes to see all people the way He does, to love the way He does.