I’m not the first to wonder what “in God’s image” really means.
Genesis tells us that we, mankind, was created in God’s image. The layers of understanding that have built up on this scripture have done amazing, and terrible things.
In a way, my life has been the very exploration of this. Am I made in God’s image even though I am a woman? Or am I merely a reflection of man who is made in God’s image.
In my ultimate, unattainable perfection am I made in God’s image? Or am I made in God’s image every moment of my life, in joy and sorrow, and even in those very personal, private moments I hide from everyone else.
I recently watched Mozart’s Sister (Nannerl, la soeur de Mozart, 2010). (As always, life trumped and I had to watch it a portion at a time, but that did not diminish the movie’s power.) It was beautiful, thought-provoking, intimate and moving.
As portrayed, this amazing person had an amazing gift. She was musically gifted and had a true passion for music. Maria Anna Mozart’s gift for creating angelic music could easily be a reflection of God. Yet, the culture and standards around her limited and denied her gifts.
Because she was a woman, she was prevented from becoming who God created her to be. She was still able to be a gift to the world and others, yet in her own right, she was limited.
Yes, this is my judgement and she herself may have said otherwise. But I have to wonder what her gifts of musical expression would have added to the world. What have we missed, but what did she miss?
Does God really intend for us to limit others because of our interpretations of what God intended? Or are we to open ourselves to a wider understanding that allows God to fully work in each other without these limitations?
Creator God, we are your creation. Continue to create in us the individuals and nation that you intend. Help us to not limit Your goodness, to not limit Your imagination, to not limit Your plan because of our imagined need of being right. We, as Your created and in our limited, fallible state, can not know Your whole mind. Help us from continuing to eat from the forbidden tree of knowledge, from continuing to try to know You in ways that are truly out of our reach. Help us be joyful in that we don’t know everything, and that You are ultimately in control. Amen.