In His Image (Written by Sharon S. Johnson and Published by Journey Magazine, Lifeway Publications, May 2015)
My daughter, Nia, insists she looks nothing like me. No matter how many times I try to point out the similarities, she just doesn’t see it. Now mind you, I am sure the gray in my hair and my not-so-soft-anymore skin don’t help any, but come on, those go with growing old gracefully, right?
Now others seem to see the resemblance, telling my daughter she looks exactly like me. So what do they see that she doesn’t? The way I walk? Talk? Maybe even the way I smile? But perhaps it goes deeper than that. Though it’s true we don’t look exactly alike, I see in her my mannerisms, gestures, and interests. The way she carefully chooses her words, offers a helping hand to those in need, and even how she searches for just the right song for the youth choir she now directs, just as I did when she was a kid. Without knowing or even trying, she resembles my very being. Maybe if Nia thought of it from that perspective, she would begin to see what I see.
How often is it that we, though children of God, fail to recognize that we are made in the image of our heavenly Father? God desires that we exhibit His divine mannerisms, gestures and interests by unconditionally loving, forgiving, and caring for our fellow man.
It seems that we should want to emulate the loving and caring persona of our Father, but we often can’t see how we could ever possibly begin to “look” like Him. Perhaps if we could see ourselves as He sees us, with the foundation of His power and through the lens of His perfect son Jesus, we would understand how much we can and should resemble Him. We are, after all, children of the King!
When I see a picture of my daughter and me, I urge her to look feature by feature, asking her to focus on the physical similarities. But maybe I should hint to her at the ways she has unknowingly followed in my footsteps. If she could see it from that perspective, she might someday stand beside me in the mirror and exclaim “Wow, Mom, I see it now!”
So as we examine our Father feature by feature, let us “be imitators of God, as dearly loved children. Then we will begin to see our resemblance to Him and will consequently “walk in love, as the Messiah also loved us and gave Himself for us.” (Ephesians 5:1, 2), We will indeed then live in His image!
P.S.–only recently did Nia finally say she does see the resemblance!
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