Surprising Gift

Read: “God spoke: ‘Let us make human beings in our image, make them reflecting our nature. So they can be responsible for the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, the cattle, and, yes, Earth itself, and every animal that moves on the face of Earth.’ God created human beings; he created them godlike, Reflecting God’s nature. He created them male and female. God blessed them: ‘Prosper! Reproduce! Fill Earth! Take charge! Be responsible for fish in the sea and birds in the air, for every living thing that moves on the face of Earth.’” Genesis 1:26-28 MSG

“God looked over everything he had made; it was so good, so very good! It was evening, it was morning—Day Six.” Genesis 1:31 MSG

Reflect: Showing up and offering God all that I have makes sense to me.  It’s a concept I can get behind—one that leads to surrender. A few years ago I was prompted by a friend to ask God for a birthday gift. If the God of the universe could give me something for my birthday, what would I choose? This kind of surrender felt much harder to grasp. As I sat with this and processed some very different possibilities, I finally landed on the gift I wanted: a desire to see God in every person — to see his creation, to see beyond the stress of life, grumpiness of people and different opinions, to see that there lies an imprint or mark of God in each and every one of us. He created us in his image.

I began to really look at the people I passed by on my walk; the people I interacted with at the store, at church, or at school drop-off. Have you ever really focused on humans? We are kind of weird! It was such a fun experiment, but it also allowed me to stop feeling so threatened in every situation and to see beyond the stress, into the goodness of life. This little exercise helped me develop more compassion and kindness toward people—the people God has asked me to serve and love.

React: When God finished creation he called it good. When was the last time you noticed goodness in others? When was the last time you really noticed people? What might happen if you just showed up to life, open to all that God has for you?

Pray: God, thank you for making us in your image. Help us to grow in love for each other as we show up with all that we have and are.