Saturday, May 19, 2007

Images of God

This is a picture that my stepson painted when he was 11 or 12 years old. It's called "Images of God, and was part of a project he was involved in over at my husband's college. It was re-printed in the St. Paul paper at the time, so we're not the only ones who think it's very good. All of the young people were instructed to paint their "images of God" and this is what my husband's son came up with. Now he's in college, majoring in Biology, thinking about Physical Therapy, also interested in Sociology. He's interested in helping others, doing justice. He also plays trumpet, flugelhorn and mandolin. One problem he might have is fitting all the things he could possibly do into the 80 or so years he might have left. He has a lot of possibilities in his life, many gifts he could use.

Copyright 2007 Spencer K. Roth. All rights reserved. No part of this picture can be reproduced or transmitted in any form, or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, downloading, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from Spencer K. Roth.

When I think about "images of God", I think about people -- not just John's son, but all kinds of people, each with all her brilliance, with all of the ideas and opinions and gifts each brings to the world. I think of each of us -- bright little pieces of God, fallen to earth, each with some sharp edges, some with cracks, not perfect at all, but together somehow making a pattern that makes sense. This is not to say I don't see the opposite as well: that's a subject for another time. Right now I'm thinking of the image of God I see in each of us and in all of us, in confirmation students and in Alzheimers patients, in mothers and fathers, in artists and business people, in immigrants speaking and singing in a mosiac of tongues.

The tricky part of saying this is, of course, that then I have to admit that the image of God is somehow in people I disagree with, or don't understand. The image of God is even in people who don't see the image of God in me. I suppose that's why the image of the cross is an important part of the picture, reconciling us to each other and to God.

There's a song that I have heard the Seventh Day Adventist Congregation at our church singing, called "When He Cometh." I love the glittering imagery about the children of God:

When He cometh, when He cometh
To make us His jewels
All His jewels, precious jewels
His loved and His own.

Like the stars of the morning
His brightness adorning
They shall shine in their beauty
Bright gems for His crown.



Barbara B. said...

great picture, and great thoughts!

Leah said...

Beautiful picture, excellent post. That Imago Dei can trip us up at times, right? Pentecost blessings!