Most of us spend at least a portion of our early lives with the sense that we are central to, well, everything. It takes us time and experience and a few smacks up top the head (or is that just me?) to begin seeing that not only are there others in the universe who have much to contribute as well as many needs, but those others are no more or less central than any one else.
This takes time. Time, in part, because we go through phases of obsession and crazy thinking along the way. We struggle against this truth…and then often feel surprised by the significant relief we feel when it all becomes clear.
Only God is necessary. Only God is central.
Mercifully and frustratingly, God choses to not only engage us in what He is doing, He designed and created us to carry His image to the others around us. This image bearing is not limited to a select few.
For me, in my own imperfect journey toward what God promises will be perfection, I spent a couple almost three decades of my life missing a whole lot of His reflection because I discounted those who were bearing it as unworthy to be seen. I hate seeing that in print. I hate more that I cannot honestly say all this crooked thinking is behind me.
Today, as I sat near Columbus Circle in New York at the American Bible Society’s National Church Leaders Summit listening to Dr. Michael Kinnamon, General Secretary, National Council of Churches talk about William Stringfellow (photo above), I was struck anew by my own journey of seeing. Many of the presenters at this event would have, at one time, been on my “outsider” list.
By God’s grace to me, today I’m benefitting from their clear, intentional reflections of God’s image. My life is enriched.
Now, what else am I missing of God’s reflection because I refuse to see?