On this Monday of the First Week of Lent, I continue my journey through Scott Hahn’s book, Lenten Reflections from A Father Who Keeps His Promises.
God created mankind in his image;
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
Aside from “your family is so well behaved”, some of my favorite comments to hear from strangers about my children are those observations related to identity.
“He looks just like you!”
“She has your eyes!”
“I can tell where he gets his sense of humor!”
I find these confirmations of connection to be uplifting; they both affirm and strengthen my paternal bonds with my kids. They also draw me closer to my beautiful wife who filled such an essential role in our children’s creation and still remains so critical in our lives.
On the flip-side, I fondly remember hearing similar comments as a child comparing my juvenile self to my parents. Fondly, now, that is—but I know I didn’t always have a positive reaction in childhood when hearing the comparisons. Especially in the awkward adolescent years when I was striving to find my own identity and seeking independence from my parents, it was embarrassing to be compared to my folks. But as I’ve grown up, I’ve developed a greater appreciation of my parents and have found great pride and joy in these comparisons.
Similarly, I never really fully appreciated that I am made in the image and likeness of God. But as I grow in my faith, I am getting a better glimpse of this honor I have been granted. My value derives from this fact: that I am made in His image and likeness.
As I recognize and better appreciate my identity, I am growing more aware that I share this identity with those I encounter every day. I remember hearing, as I grew up, the admonition to “see Christ in others.” I understand this better now. And I recognize that God made us social creatures because He intends our every encounter with other human beings to be an opportunity to draw closer to Him. I just need occasional reminders. Like when I’m driving in heavy traffic.