The other day when my daughter and I were shopping at Costco, I was energetically stopped by a coworker of mine. Her first comment was literally of jaw dropping amazement how similar my daughter and I look…we look like sisters! She directed her attention toward my daughter and I allowed my mind to wander.
I was grinning ear to ear because I was holding back laughter thinking about her comment. I thought about the silver in my hair becoming so much more prominent these last few years. The aching that I sometimes feel in my body and the slower healing when I put it to the test reminds me of the years that have gone by and how hard they have been on my body. I smile to myself and thought, when I was younger I really did think I was pretty much invincible. I was convinced that broken bones and damaged ligaments and joints would never bother me–and the thought of how I feel now made me long to have a candid conversation with my daughter about being more mindful of the way she treats her body. Pushing to her limits is a general rule for her.
I laughed out loud and thought–well…I am dressed awfully juvenile—though fully comfortable, mind you. I wore black soccer warm ups, a black tournament hoodie, a black ball cap and black sporty sandals. Conversation turned back toward me and with renewed joy and a continuing hearty laugh, I said that I am truly thankful–and jokingly said she made me feel young.
As we walked away Anna said, “You know mommy, when you wear your hair in a ponytail or in a ball cap, you look really young. Like, high school young…sometimes when I look at other parents I do think you look pretty young, even if you are pretty old.” I belted out a super loud laugh as the clothing that we were walking past caught her attention.
The conversation with my coworker got me to think about family resemblance. In my own heart and experience, there seems to be no doubt to me and others that my daughter and I are related. To me when people say that we look alike, it makes my heart swell with joy and I wonder if my child feels the same.
As I thought about my daughter, whom I often call my princess, I considered the other people that I resemble. My thoughts didn’t turn to earthly parents, my heart and mind turned to my Father God.
Genesis 1:26 “Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.’”
To me it is a great privilege and honor for someone to see the similarity of the Father with me. I feel like I can hold my head a little higher—as if the thought of being aligned with God brings me dignity…because for me it really does.
Ephesians 4:24 “and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”
Truth says that I am made in the image and likeness of God. God created me a spiritual being and my spirit will live far beyond that of my physical body. I am able to think, make decisions, problem solve and build. I am relational and I am made to give and receive love. I can tell the difference between right and wrong which ultimately makes me accountable to God. All of these things show me the way that I am created looks so much like Him. It seem silly but right at this moment as I write these words…I finally understand what it means to see every living person as an image bearer of God.
Honestly, because of my own hurts and the pain of my past it was difficult to wrap my brain around the fact that we all bear the fingerprint of God. It was as if I looked at the people who had harmed me (or did things that were like those who have harmed me) and deemed them unworthy to bear the gift of that a feature. As if I were the one who could remove characteristics of God on others…in my pain I am so arrogant and full of myself. It is interesting, when I sit staring at my own pain, who really sits on the throne of judgement. I didn’t even realize the depth of those thoughts and the truth of my feelings until I reflect back on it. God forgive me.
Colossians 1:15 “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.”
The image that I bear of my father is incomplete and distorted by sin. With tears in my eyes and deep gratitude in my heart my entire being cries out “thank you God, that I am restored because of the work that Jesus, Your Son, did for me on the cross.”
Hebrews 1:3 “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.”
As God looks at me in my everyday life, my good choices and in the ones I fall short in, I get to be fully redeemed because as He looks at me, He sees the best me possible—the me that is covered by the full image of His perfect Son! That is so amazing!
When I walk with my daughter and others see my likeness in her…it brings to me feelings of joy, of deep love of my child and it pleases me to the point that I have difficulty finding words. It may be silly, but I think that is a small glimpse of what God must feel when people recognize Him in each of us.
God wants his children to bear his image and likeness also…it’s how we are created: children of God. Wow! How awesome!