Loving self begins with reverence for life.
“We are not just humans having a God experience…..in some mysterious way, we are God having a human experience.” (1)
The writings of the ancient Judaic wisdom masters have said that creation is made in the image of God. Man, in his/her need to satisfy personal ego, seems to have narrowed this down through the ages to apply only to the homo-sapiens species. Even further stroking personal ego, some have excluded various races as the image of God to the point where I see images of a white, Aryan, brown-haired, handsome male in flowing white robes hanging on the walls where I worship. Sheer arrogance tells me that only those of us who fit that description have been made in the image of God.
Have I seen God? How do I then know that I look like God? or that God looks like me? In some mysterious way the lions, the bears, the birds, the flowers, the trees, the waters, the stars, the skies….and yes, Larry Brown, were created for God so that God could experience the joys of this creation and carry forward the creative works. Can I wrap my brain around that?
The Christian faith enters the season of Lent today. It defines Christ as the union of divine and human in one singular form. When Jesus was crucified, those who follow and profess Jesus the Christ as Lord were commissioned to continue God’s creative work on earth. I identify today with Christianity, not because I am Christian, but because I am also part of that creative work.
Christ has no body now, but yours.
No hands, no feet on earth, but yours.
Yours are the eyes through which
Christ looks compassion into the world.
Yours are the feet
with which Christs walks to do good.
Yours are the hands
with which Christ blesses the world. (1)
I am not here merely to enjoy life, to leave my mark, to accumulate possessions, to procreate, to eat, drink and be merry. No! I am here to extend to all creation the blessings of the image in which I have been created honoring the validity of all mankind, not just those who look and speak as I do. I am here to protect the environment and cherish the beauty of nature. I am here to extend compassion and reverence to life in all its forms.
The image set forth in Genesis is not a picture nor a manifestation which I can fathom. It is not a look which I can aspire to attain. It is not a presence which I can capture and enjoy. The image is indescribable and indefinable. But, I can live it and experience it through acts of understanding, compassion, love, and tolerance. When I revere all of Creation and the life forms within it, I can then appreciate and love myself because I am an integral part of God’s world. I have true purpose and direction. I have a compass to guide me and comfort me. I am one with the One.