Then God said, “Let us create mankind in our image, in our likeness…” Genesis 1:26a
So God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them. Genesis 1:27
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:13-14
A man died this week. It is still shocking to write that, but what is even crazier is that I saw him on Monday. I looked into his eyes. I tried to speak with him. And then I heard he had died. People are dying every day here, and they are dying trying to live. How can I possibly make a difference?
The Lord works in mysterious ways. This whole year, since COVID hit, I have been constantly struck with the intense reality of the Imago Dei (the Image of God). We talk about it all the time, but what does it mean to be created in the Image of God? And, if all of humanity is created in the Divine Image, why do we not treat each other like we have an inherent worth instilled in us by God Himself, who knit us together in our mothers’ wombs?
For the past year, I have been wondering why the Lord has consistently been laying this idea on my heart, but, as I continue to serve with Frontera de Cristo, I am beginning to understand. Initially, I was anxious about coming here because I thought that I would be constantly surrounded by political jargon, but what I have learned is that the people of Frontera de Cristo are concerned with something much greater. Now, I want it to be understood that political and legislative conversations are very important, but when you are seeing men and women dying from dehydration, unable to walk due to the blisters on their feet from walking miles in the desert, with no more life in their eyes, you begin to realize, in that moment, the most important thing is loving the Image-bearer directly in front of you. This is where change begins. In his book, The Bible and Borders, Daniel Carroll argues that the foundation of our legislative and political efforts should be rooted in the truth that we are all created in God’s Image; however, I would take it one step further and say that everything we say, think, and do towards others should be rooted in the knowledge of the Imago Dei.
As Christians, we may be caught in disagreements about many things, but I sincerely hope that we can all be unified through the Divine Image and that we can be moved to compassion through it, even in the midst of our disagreements because, at the end of the day, our lives should be governed by the ultimate authority of God’s Word.
The Imago Dei has been on my mind since the first few days of this trip, as I wept at the border for the first time, when I was dehydrated in the desert, when I ate dinner with migrants, and when I heard the news of the death of Andrés. I only interacted with him for 3 minutes, but he has changed my life forever. When we forget the Image of God, we set ourselves up for a losing battle. All around me, everywhere I look, I see bodies, minds, and souls marked with the Divine Image. Some of them are my brothers and sisters, others are lost wanderers searching for hope. Is this not the calling placed upon a Christian’s life, to go out into the world in the Truth and Love, to lost and found souls alike, all bearing the Image of our Father, so that they may see Him in us and desire to draw closer to Him? Throughout my time here, I have been in constant conversation with the Lord, asking Him to reveal to me what is most important and how He wants to use me. He responds by constantly drawing me back into His arms, filled with joy and sorrow, whispering to me about my calling to glorify Him through loving the creation He valued enough not only to place His glorious Image upon but also to sacrifice Himself for. May the Lord open our eyes to see, open our ears to hear, and open our hearts to receive what He is saying and whom He is calling us towards. How would your actions change if you treated people like they were created in the Divine Image?