As I turn to leave, I smother my six-year-old with a hug and say, “I’m going to miss you! Are you going to miss me?”
With a grin from ear to ear she replies, “No. I won’t miss you.”
“You won’t?” I sadly interrogate.
This is a girl who used to scream at the top of her lungs any time I’d go to leave without her.
“No. I’ll just look at your picture if I miss you!”
Relieved that I’m not completely expendable in her eyes yet, I go. I think about how beautiful it would be if I could figure out how to be more like her – trusting, optimistic, and completely secure with what I have in the face of what I don’t.
Addie knew I’d be where she was sooner or later. In the meantime, she had full faith that if she got lonely or upset, she could see my image and keep trusting that I’d surely come home eventually.
If only I could trust so fully in the perfect, captured, positionally flawless image of those who very transiently present that way in my life.
What if, instead of grieving over where they aren’t, I could rejoice in where they’ll be? How different my perspective could be if I stopped being upset over the lack and started focusing on the provision. Please tell me I’m not just kidding myself.
Every believer really does bear the image of God. Oh, if I could just see it; remember it. If I could just take a snapshot of every brother and every sister – glorified; perfected; sinless – and hold it in the eye of my heart always! If I would just keep it close every time they aren’t presenting that way towards me. I bet I could confidently smile until they return to imago dei. I bet I could refrain from anxiety over their injurious treatment. If they could do the same for me we might even remember who we really are. We might stop being angry and afraid when we find ourselves at odds. Perhaps we could forgive. Maybe we could forget the times we haven’t been there for each other and search for imago dei instead. I bet we would have joy as we walk alone and peace as we fight the war.
Justifiable anger and crippling fear are only possible when one fails to see the impotence of their offender. In a moment, when Christ’s image appears, all aggression turns to compassion and results in prayer for the other. Surely they will come home eventually. Surely we will. Stop yelling. Pull out Johnny and Susie’s imago dei. Remember who makes us different and lead your brothers and sisters to Him.
For a brief moment I deserted you,
but with great compassion I will gather you.
8 In overflowing anger for a moment
I hid my face from you,
but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,”
says the Lord, your Redeemer. ~Isaiah 54:7-8