Friday Morning Coffee #49: The Image of God

Good morning, friends. 

I'm writing to you from the place I've spent most of this week - the couch. I caught the plague that was being passed around by my family over the holidays, and it's forced me to slow down and take some time to rest. 

In between my naps, administrations of cough syrup, and episodes of "The Crown," I've been doing some reading. I'm reading Graham Greene's novel The Power and the Glory for the first time. And oh, am I enjoying it. 

A beautiful passage I read yesterday has been on my mind. A priest is on the run from authorities who want him killed, and a desperately ill peasant joins him with intentions to betray him. Knowing this, the priest still takes some compassion on the man. 

At the centre of his own faith there always stood the convincing mystery - that we were made in God's image - God was the parent, but He was also the policeman, the criminal, the priest, the maniac, and the judge....He would sit in the confessional and hear the complicated dirty ingenuities which God's image had thought out: and God's image shook now, up and down on the mule's back, with the yellow teeth sticking out over the lower lip...He said: "Do you feel better now? Not so cold, eh? Or so hot?" and pressed his hand with a kind of driven tenderness upon the shoulders of God's image.

It's a transformative realization - that all of humanity bears the image of God. The people we pass on the street, the cashier at the grocery store, the politicians on the television. The homeless man holding a cardboard sign, the boss you cannot stand. The best and most despicable person you can imagine - all image bearers. What a strange grace. What a profound dignity.

It changes the way we see people, when we can see this fundamental stamp of God's handiwork, when we can see beyond their sin or their success, their poverty or their wealth, their politics, their skin...and see a human being, the creation of God, the bearer of His image.