Friday, November 10, 2006

A me shaped You

I love the questions little kids ask. These questions often stump us adults because we have to admit that we don’t really know the answer. Oh we know all kinds of answers but not “the” answer that will suffice for the wonderment of a child. Why is the sky blue? Where do freckles come from? What does God look like? Try to give a real answer to any of those and see how far you get.

But let’s take an adult look at one of those questions, and no it’s not “why is the sky blue”, but a tougher one “What does God look like?” Have you ever tried to visualize God, to give him a figure and image that you can picture in your mind? It’s tough, He’s God, and there isn’t a pattern to apply for His image. So when you don’t know what someone looks like visually and yet you want to describe them you fall back on their qualities, their actions, and there an image emerges that you can call His shape.

But a funny thing occurs when you start to try to give a shape to God because you naturally think He looks a lot like you. Often times I will think of God in terms of me, of my limitations, my faults, my abilities and inabilities, I think of God through my own vision of who I am.

And so God takes on the form of a man, of me. The ability to love . . . . but a conditional love that must always be maintained. The ability to forgive . . . . . but only those things that I’m willing to say don’t matter and haven’t hurt me deeply. The concept of grace . . . . . . but only as far as I’ve been extended the same grace. The ability to do amazing works . . . . . but limited by the strength of my hands and the ability of my talents.

So as I begin to picture God I realize that really I’m picturing Him as myself. I know enough to realize that God doesn’t fit in a box, but I’ve put Him in a me shaped mold. I’ve made Him into a Me shaped You.

And then the next step is that I begin to think that if God is just like me, with the same qualities as me then He relates to me as I sometimes to do Him. His love isn’t overwhelming; instead it’s just an emotion that is conditional on how good I am. His forgiveness isn’t complete; but something that comes and goes with the state of my own actions. His grace isn’t enough; I must earn His favor by all the stuff that I feel I must do to be in His presence. His works aren’t miracles, but the direct result of a specified work that my own hands have completed.

And then when I begin to see God as me, I begin to think I can do things better. Since He’s just the same, my way might be the better way or my thoughts might be higher than His. And I look in the mirror and I see my own god, me. Because I’ve taken the Almighty God and I’ve turned Him into a Me shaped You.

And yet, didn’t Christ take on our image for the exact opposite reason. Not to become man with all the faults and limitations, but to become a man so that we might become like Him. He took on our flesh, our frame, to burst from the trappings of that same flesh, to become the man what we were always supposed to be. He came so that I might become a You shaped Me. That through a relationship with Christ I might begin to look more like Him, like God, not becoming my own god, but turning from this image I see in the mirror into the image of Him who took on my flesh to give me the divine shape of His image.

More to come later, specifically about what a You shaped Me looks like. This is still churning in my head but I needed to get it down and figured I should share the work in progress. Any comments or thoughts are wonderfully appreciated and encouraged.


Blogger Eddo said...

Interesting read so far KT and I can understand what you are talking about. However, I think of God as a creator, the way I might create something. With each design I make, I put a little bit of myself into it.

I also remmber a story abour refining silver and how that analogy applies to us. When a silversmith was asked how he knows that silver is pure, he says that he beats it and crushes it and melts it until it is so pure he can see is own image in it. As we are pounded and hammered on this earth, these hard blows are only to make us more like Christ, not weak or broken.

11/10/2006 2:07 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Um ... yeah, wow. Wow. I read a book once that left me mostly speechless for a while, called "Blue Like Jazz" by Don Miller. This one kinda did the same thing. Looking forward to the next bit :)

11/10/2006 6:26 PM  
Blogger kystorms said...

You have a very good way of putting down thoughts some of us have, but are not good enough to voice correctly.I will be back to see your next post on this, as I am struggling to become better in His eyes, so He will come to me, help me, be with me.
thank you

11/11/2006 8:43 AM  
Anonymous Jayleigh said...

Katie, you rock.

Rob and I were reading this last night when lightning knocked out our power. It was like an exclamation point on everything you said.


Good luck with the job and move.

11/11/2006 11:03 AM  
Blogger Tony Myles said...

What does it mean that my boys resemble my wife and I? And is that the same with Jesus? Did he have Mary's nose and God-the-Father's smile?

The word became flesh... wild.

11/11/2006 10:54 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

great comments everyone, I love that I know that I'm not the only one thinking about things like this, it makes me feel a little bit more normal

Kystorms - the thing that amazes me about God is that He's already here, we don't have to do anything to earn a place in His presence, He's right beside us just waiting for us to notice Him

11/12/2006 9:51 PM  

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