God created man in His own image, in the image of God, He created him, male and female He created them. Genesis 1:27
So, it's 2:39 am, and while I should be sleeping, my mind is racing. Tonight at encounter, I was more than overjoyed to look out on a sea of faces; the looks of desperation shown in the expressions of hundreds of college students. What a precious sight. Let me say for the record, I love what God has allowed our family to be a part of for these years in Auburn. In due time, I pray I can stand among a similar crowd of Hong Kong students, where their faces, also made in the image of God, would reflect a similar desperation to know and love God.
Today's thought, from the Garden to the City, is one of image bearing. I've been thinking a lot about how we as people are image-bearers of our God, the One who made men and fashioned women, the same One who fearfully knits unborn children in their mother's wombs, the same One who transcends the color of skin or eyes, the same One who creatively makes different smiles, different personalities, different shapes, sizes, and textures of hair. That Amazing God, whose creativity is immeasurably expressed in the intricacies of creation, chose to place in the heart of mankind - eternity. The souls of men - restless until they find their rest in Him. The thought of creating souls that can think, feel, and choose - billions of them, each unique. Come on. That is impressive. Billions of image bearing souls walk the earth tonight.
The Garden was a place of rest. Work. Yes. Kinda. Keeping and cultivating and loving and enjoying paradise was life. I am still perplexed how those two people, in perfect paradise, with perfect freedom, knowing perfect provision, enjoying a shame-less, guilt-less, sin-less life with God and each other --- would have chosen sin. But, they did. No doubt.
The Garden is gone. Or at least inaccessible to man. Now, cities are filled with shame, guilt, and sin. Cities around the world are epicenters of invented gods and counterfeit glory. Now, people go to cities to find themselves, make a life for themselves, forge an identity for themselves, make a name for themselves, on a quest to satisfy themselves.
Interestingly, one can observe this phenomenon at work: the larger the city - the less eye contact. Walk down the street of small town America and people look you in the eye. Walk down a dirt road in Buloba, Uganda - and everyone is looking at you. Hop on the subway in NYC, and you will be hard-pressed for eye-contact. Try the MTR in Hong Kong, very similar (though much cleaner and more pleasant) - you will be hard pressed for eye-contact. Something about being around a lot of people, actually makes people appear less interested in other people.
Yet -- as image-bearers of our God -- We need to place value on the image we bear. Hello. We are made in the image of God. So, all the more, as the redeemed sons and daughters, beloved ones, forgiven ones, purchased ones,grace-changed ones -- as we fix our eyes on the Author and Perfecter of our faith - can we look people in the eyes in the hope they will see "the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ" (2 Cor 4:6b)
Image bearers. Eyes reflect. Eyes receive.
What do people see when they see your eyes?
What do you see in the eyes of the redeemed?
What do you see in the eyes of those still searching?