I've been thinking about this on and off for the last few months. It is actually something that has been on my mind since my previous to last post, which I wrote almost 3 months ago now I think (apologies for the long delay.. I've been incredibly busy - got 2 jobs all of a sudden, trying to get ready for the baby and all).
What's struck me is this: If we really are made in God's image, then conversely - how much of God do we humans reflect. Stated another way - By looking at mankind, how much can we say is a direct reflection of God?
I haven't done much study into this, and maybe some of what I'm saying will be 'duh' statements for some of you, but I really believe that 'made in the image of God' has little to do with surmising that God has 2 arms and 2 legs. It needs to have a whole lot more to do with our character, our relational attributes and our spiritual being.
What's really been interesting me though is that if we believe that God is the creator of all things, then the relational dynamics that we experience as human beings have to have their starting place in Him.
On a slightly different topic, I've been fast coming to the conclusion that everything we experience has it's place on a sliding scale between fully God and fully not God. What I mean by this, is that where love has God as it's purest origin, hate, or the lack of love (or 'love' only for selfish means - which by definition isn't love..) would be on the opposite scale - as sans God.
So, that said, I've come to understand that all our relational dynamics are either from or sans God, or somewhere in between. This, if we tie it into the original statement leads me to this:
If the concept of relationship comes from God. And if we, as humans are made in His image, then what can we deduce to be aspects that we might find in God's relational makeup and as part of His temperament?
We know that God is love. However, we (ok, I) find it hard to see God laughing, or having a good time. I still do - and it's something that Dad's working on. But I think as I thought of the things that make me, and us, as humans happy and satisfied, I started to think - it must be the parts of God in me.
As humans, the closer and more intimate and stable a relationship we have in our fellows, the happier and more content our souls are. Surely, if that is what are wired to feel happiness about, then, how much more wouldn't that be what God is longing to offer us, and what brings Him joy?
If we enjoy laughter, and happiness and real emotions, how much more does God enjoy those things? or at the least, enjoy it in us?
If, as parents, we are filled with pride when our child takes their first step or says 'mommy' or 'daddy' for the first time, how much MORE does God revel in the smallest thing that draws us to Him?
And on. I know there has been much talk of 'making God in our image' and that it's a negative thing. To some degree, I agree. But, surely we can look at how we are made. The good things at our core, and make some deductions that it would reflect the God who made us?
I know, to some degree, this should be something that 'goes without saying'. It should be the accepted norm. But I don't think it is.
When we think about it, we could come to this conclusion. If I had to ask the most 'angry-God' christian if God is love, their answer would most probably be yes. Mostly because it says so in the Bible. But that wouldn't mean that it was a reality in their lives. And I think for many Christians it isn't a reality. It has become a concept. Something 'out there', away from any real-life proof. We'll say we believe it, but if we had to think about it, we most probably don't. We read Jesus' parable about a father not giving his child a rock if he asks for bread, but we behave with God in a way as if we expect Him to give us the rock (all puns of Jesus being 'the Rock on which we stand' aside).
What I'm saying, is that I'm beginning to see God as 'human' in perfection (and eternity more than that) - but I mean it in that because He is God, He loves, He is patient, He rejoices over us, He is Kind, He gives all and expects nothing in return, He gathers us up as a hen with her chicks. He is the perfection of a loving Father, a caring husband. He offers us the perfection of intimacy and whole relationships. Everything good that our hearts long for is found in Him.
Yet we believe Him to be cruel, and just only so much as to have an excuse to punish us. We believe Him to be hard and cold. We believe Him to be distant and far-off. To give us rocks and snakes when we ask for bread. To treat us as exactly our sins deserve. How wrong we are!
These few months I've been realising how much we reflect (often incredibly poorly) our creator - and (shockingly) that the Bible actually speaks of our God in the same way.
I am once again in awe of Dad, as He reveals more of himself to me. I am also saddened as I repeatedly realise how much of Him I have so wrong. So skewed. So totally opposite to who He really is.
My hearts cry is that He will continue to change my heart to start understanding and seeing Him as He really is, and through that changing, that I will be changed to be more and more like Him!