Image Bearing

The fan stirs night air into turbulence as I gaze at their sleeping innocence. Long, dark lashes caress chubby cheeks, soft breathing and dimpled hands tug at my heart even in repose.

Oh, Lord, thank You.

Three little replicas of their daddy and me, and yet…not. At ages 5, 2, and 9 months respectively, they are no rubber stamp of each other or us.

I stroke back the dark, wispy tendrils from my girl’s cheek, blooming with health and energy. She’s my favorite. Fierce, tender, exuberant.

In the darkness, I move to the crib where her brother sleeps. Chest rising and falling steadily, fingers curled around his blanket. My chest tightens with emotion. He’s my favorite, you see. Funny, observant, patient.

Moving to the pack’n’play, I peek in on the littlest of my treasures. I pause, remembering the moment he broke out of the cradling darkness of my womb. Resurrection Sunday. Sweet hope for the future in a world gone mad. This one is my favorite. His name means Messenger of God, and oh, but he is. Sunny, engaging, talkative.  A prophet with the heart of a lion.

Yes, they are all my favorite in their own unique way. It hushes my soul in wonder as I contemplate…am I my Father’s favorite? Are you? Aren’t we all His beloved?

Wouldn’t it change the way we value others and ourselves if we rightly saw the world through His eyes? And maybe gave others a peek of Him, too? After all, we are His children…made in His image.  How would it change me if I really thought that His eyes soften and His heart trips in His chest as He looks down at me?  At you?

Can we just pause for a moment to contemplate that the Parisian artist, and the San Francisco guitar player, and the Arkansas mechanic, and the Russian figure skater, and the Chinese biophysicist, and the African tribesman, and the Indian entrepreneur are all made in His image.  Representing a unique aspect of His character and personality.  Irrevocably valuable.  Intrinsically priceless.

Could we, could I dare to bring it closer to home?

The homeless heroin addict?

The girl at church with the sad eyes?

The rude driver that cut me off?

All. His. Favorite. Children.

And at night, as I lay my sleep-fogged head onto my pillow, I can picture Him bending low. Brushing a wisp of hair off my cheek with a smile.

Because I’m His favorite, you know.

And so are you.

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