I have worried over my own feelings of inadequacy to to help each of my children, as individuals, grow into adults who fully reflect the work of their creator in them. I have worried about them being kind, responsible and respectful. I have worried about their safety as they learn to walk, or climb a tree, or do any number of things independently.
But I have never worried that someone would simply look at them, their outward being, created in the image of God, and be filled with fear or hatred.
I have never worried that someone would dismiss my words, emotions or point of view because of the color of my skin.
I have never feared that my husband or sons would be wrongfully accused because they were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.
I have been privileged by birth and I do not deserve it. In the same way that no one deserves to live with these fears; these realities of our ugly, fallen world.
How do I combat this? How do I stand against a problem so pervasive, so drenched in history, so overlooked? How do I stand not just against the ugliness of it all, but for change, for good, for a God who created ALL of humanity in his image?
I don’t have clear answers to these questions, but today I invite you to reflect on the following verses with me and pray for change in our world.
“So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.”
29 But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 And the next day he took out two denarii[a] and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ 36 Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”
“As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”
13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.