YOU ARE CREATED IN GOD’S IMAGE
“God created humankind in God’s image, male and female God created them.” (Genesis 1:27)
A dear friend and colleague of over three decades tells me how her family berated her as a child. Although she was quite winsome and intelligent, her parents bombarded her with messages: “You’re not smart, you’re not athletic, you’re not beautiful. You’ll never amount to anything.” She has succeeded beyond her wildest expectations – she is healthy, creative, successful, and lovely – but sometimes she still hears that voice of negativity. She hears her weakness and not her strength, her ugliness and not her beauty. Then she reminds herself that she is God’s child and that any negative self-judgment is false. She is created in God’s image. She is everything she needs to be to live out God’s vision for her. I can relate to my friend’s experience.
There is something of that voice in all of us. I must confess that given my parents’ low self-esteem that I struggled to be good enough. Part of my quest to excel was to prove that I was as talented as some of my professional colleagues and grad school classmates, who received more attention and encouragement than I did. I wanted people to see that I was as good as they were. I have come to realize that now whatever I do reflects joy and creativity and I don’t have to prove anything, except let my gifts flow. I have realized that just as I am in all my fallibility and limitations, I am God’s beloved child and can do great things. I can live out, without thinking myself better than anyone, the chant popularized by Jesse Jackson, as he spoke to youth mired in poverty and racism, “I am somebody!” And, so are you! You are somebody. You are God’s child, female, male, transgender, or non-binary.Let me tell you God’s truth. You are created in God’s image. God loves you. God has given you gifts no one in the universe has. In this time of pandemic, let us celebrate the image of God in our lives and in the lives of everyone we meet.
As we midwife Gods’ image in us, let us midwife the holiness of others. Let us bring forth God’s presence in everyone we meet.
Let me see the divine in me and in all creation. Let God’s beauty flow in my life to everyone I meet. Amen.
Bruce Epperly is a Cape Cod pastor, professor and author of over 50 books, including FAITH IN A TIME OF PANDEMIC and GOD ONLINE: A MYSTIC’S GUIDE TO THE INTERNET