History of Redemption: Blog Post 3
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image, in the image of God he created him. And God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed. – Genesis 1:26-27;31; Genesis 2:22;25
The first thing that hit me as I walked into the operating room was the smell. I can only liken it to the smell of a rotting corpse. The same smell I had experienced in Haiti after the earthquake. She was perhaps 40 years old, from a poor rural village in Kenya, and had finally made it to Tenwek hospital to seek treatment for what had started as a tooth infection. Left untreated, the infection had spread, and now had eroded through her cheek. She had pus running down her neck. I watched the surgeon, unfazed by all this, put on a glove, and stick his finger into the gaping hole in her cheek, to express the pus hidden beneath the surface. Many thoughts went through my mind as I stood there watching this, but one thought that I confess did not run through my mind was that this woman was created by God, in His likeness, and she is an image bearer of Him. If this had been what I was thinking, how much more would my heart have broken for her, how much more deeply I would have loved her, and how I would have seen the beautiful creature that was before me.
We were all created in God’s image, and yes that image has been distorted by sin, but at our core, we still bear His image. I think what causes me more than anything to forget this as I look upon other people, is my own sin-stained lens through which I look at His image bearers. It is like driving forward with a windshield that has been caked with mud. If I could see more clearly, I would recognize the reflection of His holiness and glory and beauty that is before me in everyone, and would truly love people, as God has loved me. I would recognize their true worth. I would seek justice for them. I would not be able to help but to share the gospel with them, telling them how special they are because they bear the very image of God Himself.
I would remember that this poor suffering woman in Kenya was created by Him, in His own image. I would remember that the homeless man asking me for money to buy alcohol, was created by Him, in His own image. I would remember that the 13 year old girl who has been sold into prostitution was created by Him, in His own image. I would remember that the 13 week old girl that was just aborted, was created by Him, in His own image.
Lord Jesus, please give me Your eyes, that I may see clearly Your image in each and every person you place before me. Let me no longer look through this sin-stained lens, but let me look with clarity of vision upon the image bearers of Yourself that You have created and given breath and life to. Teach me Oh Lord, to love my brothers and sisters, as You have loved us, with a love that is beyond description. And place in me the hope that you will one day transform our lowly bodies, to be like Your glorious body, by the power that enables You even to subject all things to Yourself – Philippians 3:21.
“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” – 2 Corinthians 3:18