The Image of God
When I know that I have a devotional to write, I try to capture quick notes on things that catch my eye and may be a potential topic. While watching the film The Shape of Water recently, the final words the Narrator spoke in the film became such a note.
“Unable to perceive the shape of you, I find you all around me. Your presence fills my eyes with your love. It humbles my heart, for you are everywhere.”
Then you add in this past Sunday’s sermon by Denise about baptism. I knew this was the topic I needed to write about. What is the shape of water? Water’s shape is only defined by the container which holds it. Science says that up to 60% of the human body is water. So, basically, human beings are a container.
Set in the early 1960’s, the film is centered around an amphibious creature that is captured and tortured so that man can better understand what this creature really was. They said the creature was revered as a God by the Amazonian tribes that knew of its existence. The antagonist of the film, Strickland, is a white heterosexual male, right-wing patriot, self-proclaimed Christian that is harshly dismissive of other’s opinions and lifestyles, extremely arrogant, racist and sexist. At one point, he states “You may think that thing looks human. It stands on two legs, right? But we’re created in the Lord’s image. You don’t think that’s what the Lord looks like, do you? God looks like me and you (while looking at Delilah, a black woman). Well, maybe a little more like me.”
We are made in the image of God, but what does that mean? Is it just the container? Or is it the water inside the container? I believe the water represents the traits or qualities given to us to be that image of God. Loving, joyful, courageous, wise, merciful, obedient, faithful, passionate, prayerful, mindful, diligent are just scratching the service. In our society today, too many Christians are focused on the container image of God. Not only that, but that container is restricted to very specific attributes.
Is the image of God restricted to a physical container? Is that container required to be human or can it be more? If you believe as I do that it is more than the container then, I ask, couldn’t Saint Andrew CC be a container of God’s image? Do we not possess and strive to live to how we perceive the image to be? If the image of God is the water, the traits that make us in the image of God, then the more we focus on the water and fill the container, the more overwhelmed the container becomes. At some point, the water will rise up and overflow the boundaries imposed upon it. It will wash away everything in its path. Those true traits of God, will wash over us and those around us.
Creator, we are unable to perceive the shape of you, yet we find you all around us. Your presence fills our eyes with your love. Creator, you humble our hearts, for you are everywhere.