Friday, December 7, 2012

In Whose Image?


The supreme religious challenge is to see God's image in the one who is not in our image.  -Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

 in whose image?
Imagine...the Hebrew Bible commands us-
in more than thirty places- to love and
welcome the stranger, for each and all of us
have been a stranger...somewhere, at some time...
and in the stranger, we can see the face of God,
welcome angels unaware.

 But far too often- if honesty prevails-
the only god we can see is the one made
in our image...the one who looks like us
and acts the way we think God should...
and if God is indeed only the way I see
divinity, the way you see holiness, then we
can- with smug & self-righteous justification-
deny the image of God in those unlike us,
in our enemies.

Easier by far to "worship" God than
to love our neighbor (let alone our enemy!...
to see the person right in front us as
the unique, beautiful Child of God
she is...to stand in awe of the unsolved
mystery of his life...to see them not
just as characters in my own story
but as people in their own right...as
holy places wherein dwells the Spirit of God.

 Simpler, far, to hallow the Wholly Holy
than to recognize...admit...acknowledge
that every encounter with every person
is holy...that every encounter with every
person takes place on holy ground- and
in deep humility, take off our shoes in wonder & awe.

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