Saturday, February 26, 2011

In His Image

Have you ever really thought about what it means to be made in the image and likeness of God? When my son was born I would joke that it meant that God must be chubby and have kissable cheeks. When my daughter was born I joked that it meant that God had a smile that could light up a room and can scream like a banshee. 

All joking aside - being made in the image and likeness of God means that we were created to be in constant communion with Him. Let's think about this for a minute. It means that our most basic, natural state is to be connected to God. Our home is with Him, our Beloved, who formed us in our mothers' wombs out of desire for us. To have a relationship with God should be as easy as falling in love with the one person who you know will never, ever reject you or say that you are not good enough. Wouldn't you love to be in a relationship with someone like that? 

Yes, we have original sin. We are not perfect and we turn away from God. But God loves us so much that He is willing to lower Himself to our level and raise us beyond our own flawed capabilities. Some very powerful ways God leads us into relationship with Him is through the Sacraments. (I am personally becoming more dedicated to the Eucharist, Christ among us.) But unless we're very good, devout, and organized moms we might not make it to Mass. Or if we do we spend most of our time in the foyer of the church with a crying child. It is easy to get discouraged because we know that we rely on God but can't seem to do enough for Him.

This is where remembering that we are made in His image can come in handy. Yes, going to church is very important. Reading the Bible is very important. But for those days (and nights) that we've been dealing with a fussy, teething baby and a toddler who really is trying his best to get to the potty on time... Think of it this way: Imagine that you are having one of those days when the baby is in abject misery from teething, the toddler is running around like a maniac (and is smelly), the house is a wreck and lunch (which is late) is about to burn and Jesus knocks on the door. Do you say "Sorry, Lord, you deserve so much better. Can you come back when the house is clean, the children are clean and content and I can fix a lovely meal for you"? Or do you say "Lord, it's not much but this is my life and you are welcome to share in it. Would you like a grilled-cheese sandwich or hot dogs. Or we can always order pizza." 

There are times to be somber in the presence of God. There are times when we dress up, tell the children to be quiet and get on our knees before our Lord. But we cannot wait for everything to be perfect before we approach Jesus or invite Jesus into our lives. And we certainly don't have to climb high mountains in exotic lands and spend years chanting  strange mantras in foreign languages (well, maybe Latin) to find inner peace. Our natural state is to be in communion with God. So take a deep breath and for a few moments (you might not get more) be yourself in the presence of your Beloved.  Remember that Jesus loves you in the most perfect way. You do not need to be perfect. You do not need to have all the answers. Remember that being in communion with God is as easy as being yourself: the person God, out of love, created you to be. Then go and change that diaper.

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