Winter Play Park

Sunday Psalm: The Imago Dei in Human Face

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It’s common to experience God sightings in sunsets, geese in flight, ocean waves, and other aspects of nature. Nature reflects God’s creative finger prints the way color pallets, brush strokes, and painting styles point to a particular painter. Though this bent toward encountering God in the wild and natural world is a beautiful way to interact with God, we often miss God in one of his most accessible creations: other humans. There are close to 7 billion humans each who carries the Imago Dei. God sightings then do not require climbing a 14er or a trip to the beach but rather a glance across the table, a stroll at the mall, or a visit to the park. Today’s psalm is a prayer to help us see the Imago Dei in friends, family, and even strangers and enemies.

Photo credit Egor Kamelev

God, I see you in

A billion flakes of snow spilled from your playful hand.

Delicate prisms drifting down, 

Snow angels

Fluked with geometric yet momentary slivers of light.

Each an inadequate expression of your face.

Now melting into rivers of free flowing grace.

Winter bound mountain stream

God, Help me also see you in

A billion faces of humanity spilled from your artistic heart.

Intricate conceptions living on landscape harsh and grand.

Daubed with brilliant and eternal hints of you.

Natural Smile

Each a single expression of your face,

Though even together not complete,

Fallen now like tarnished snow,

A vast gallery in need of everlasting grace.

Guatemalan Boy

Give me eyes of wonder and compassion 

That see as worthy

The small and great, strong and weak,

Young and old, poor and rich,

Twisted and torn, them and us,

Because of your exquisite touch,

Let me see you

Even, yes, even in my enemy. 

God sighting in Kansas

Read more about God the Artist in The Parable of the Artist.

6 thoughts on “Sunday Psalm: The Imago Dei in Human Face”

  1. Georgie Ann Kettig

    the Bible tells us that “God is not the author of confusion” (1 Corinthians 14:33),… “but of peace … ”

    perhaps this is why we may more easily “see/feel God” in the tiny but very awesome snowflake, and the unique but brilliant sunset(s), and the dynamic but ever-so-(mysteriously)-coordinated flying-geese patterns,…

    “life” itself, in any form, is certainly miraculous testimony enough that Great Things are “at work” here,… perhaps sometimes more strongly evidenced in the irrepressible bursts of Spring (soon to visit us again!),…

    no one could deny that humans are an awesome part of Creation,… but are we always peaceful?,… do we spawn “confusion”?,… do we have “special problems” that seem to complicate things?,… our vulnerabilities lead to us needing instruction (and inspiration!) directly from God, in order to “sort out” the inscrutable challenges that we face,… personally, I don’t think that we “have it easy”,…

    as they say ~ “there is a (perpetual) fly in our ointment”,… but one of the things that I really do enjoy seeing in “brother and sister” humans, is when there is a quiet dignity about them,… something that comes from within, and seems to recognize a purpose that transcends such things as “being noticed”,… a purpose that knows that we are here to contribute that which we are able to do,… and to encourage and share with others, such things as kindness, love, and appreciation,…

    1. I like that you see a quiet dignity in others. And it’s also true that we need more revealed to us about the nature of God than we can see in nature and others. This is the heart of Jesus, God Incarnate. If you see me, he said, you see the Father.

      1. Georgie Ann Kettig

        I was a little perplexed trying to “picture” a way to reconcile all-too-obvious “life challenges” (which, I think, are more “personally felt and apparent” to aging females who live alone, as well as to our youthful memories of having been vulnerable “young girls” emerging into a “world” that we didn’t quite understand yet, but were definitely cautioned about), with the blanket invitation to “see God in our enemies”,…

        I “see” God in all of Life as the pervasive Source and supplier of our ability to do and be anything that we are,… in the question of “giving us freewill”, is maybe where the patterns of “confusion” and “avoidance” enter into the “daily equations” of making our “personal choices and decisions”,… and, yes, there are things that we turn away from,… (Psalm 1),…

        however, I also see and know that “God IS Love” in grander ways than we can ever imagine!,… no problem there!,… so, I pondered this for awhile,… lol,…

        not wanting to gloss over any of these intricacies-of-perception, I continued to ponder, until the “breakthrough” came to me last night ~ aha! ~ I’m not sure if is Biblical, but it is certainly “anecdotal”!,… “Love is Blind”,… and there you have it!,… we can put on our (spiritual?) “God glasses” and “see” somewhat in accord with the Love that we know He has and desires for us (all),… and we can even do this while “being wise”, which is also a Godly gift to us,… perhaps “in the Spirit”, we exist in layers of perception, much as you are able to focus your camera lens for achieving different visual effects,…

        so, as always, it is enchanting to contemplate!,… “my usual” (i.e., default setting) is to attempt to “guide myself wisely (and soberly)”, (also “listening to the Spirit”), and when “problems and confusions” are detected, I turn them over to His Wisdom and Providence to handle them,… I, of course, will pray,… but I genuinely accept that many things are not in my own ability to control, or even understand or forgive,… this is why it is so wonderful that God is simply as Grand and as All-encompassing, as He truly is,… and that He truly IS Love,… (-:

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