You: Created In The Image Of God
I do not know how to end hatred, I truly wish I did--but recognizing our shared humanity is a good beginning. - Elie Wiesel
I'm having a hard time focusing today. My mind started racing after I read the above quote from Elie Wiesel. Wiesel, who passed away last year, was a Holocaust survivor, a University professor, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and Nobel Peace Prize recipient.
Wiesel was known for his infectious laughter and his constant way of approaching life with joy and hope. He spent his life in the pursuit of peace and understanding between peoples who struggled to find both. This from a person who was a firsthand witness to the Nazi atrocities at Auschwitz.
The more I think about what Wiesel is proposing in his quote (namely, to recognize the shared humanity in everyone), the harder it is for me to put my mind around.
As I think about how far Wiesel's willingness to move beyond anger, bitterness, and hatred took him, I am convicted and humbled.
You see, I find myself struggling mightily to forgive the person who cut me off on the freeway. And God forbid I work to see the "shared humanity" in that person who either hurt me or who betrayed a loved one.
The truth of the matter is that we are all created in the image of God. We hold the Divine spark, the very DNA of the Creator within us. And though we often do all that we can to deny that image within us, it persists--even within the very worst of us.
Christians believe that Jesus is God's ultimate move toward us. Jesus gives us a flesh and blood example of God's desires for all of his children.
Because of Jesus, we don't have to guess what God wants for each of us--to fully recognize the Divine within us and all around us and to draw more closely to becoming the people we are meant to be. Because of Jesus, we know just how far is willing to go to rescue us from the ways we deny the image of God within us and others.
May you find ways to see the Divine in all those whom you encounter today and every day. May you see a flicker of the Divine essence even in those who wound you and persecute you. May you look in the mirror and find God's eyes staring back at you in love.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.