Anyway, I read an interesting question this morning that got me thinking about my kids. It was, "How do you see the image of God in your kids?" If they are created in His image, as I believe we all are, then I should see some reflection of Him in them. And you know what? When I got thinking about it I could see some of Him in each of them.
So, instead of photographs of my five children, here are verbal snapshots of how each of them show God's image in their lives.
With my oldest I see God's sense of creative order. The building blocks of the universe (i.e. atoms) are so orderly, dependable, follow recognizable patterns and laws, even though it is all unbelievably complex (one science book I read suggested that you could study math for 4 years after Calculus in order to be able to understand it pretty well). My 11th grader is like this. Order. Precision. Complex, but with pattern.
In my 9th grader I see the Lord's servant heart. She jumps in to help in meek and quiet ways without being asked. She is trusted with the same duties and responsibilities as teens 4 years older than her, because she is so capable and reliable. Children that are problems for some of our church's adults respond to her and are well behaved when she is asked to sit next to them. I try to protect her, however, because her capabilities combined with her height (5'10") makes people forget that she is only 14. I worry that an inappropriate amount of responsibility might be thrown on her before she is truly ready. I foresee her being a linchpin (as Seth Godin defines it) in her church, quietly indispensable (very much like her grandmother, my mother-in-law, by the way).
My 5th grader has such a tender heart, both taking correction so quickly to heart himself, but also seeing hurt and needs in others around him. At only 10, he is more likely to see others' need for prayer than his older siblings. And he has God's hear too. His track record for quickly and impressively answered prayer and literal dreams come true is amazing. He prays for rain and it rains (which is more impressive down here than in say Seattle). Last week we received some sad news about a couple people in our church and we all prayed that it would be quickly resolved. However, in addition to praying, my son reported dreaming about the resolution and two days later we got news that it happened almost as he dreamed it. He dreamed that they showed up in a specific person's truck, but what happened is that they called that person to come get them with that truck. I honestly don't know what to make of this. Coincidence? Maybe, but things like that have happened to him before, although not quite this awe inspiring.
My 3rd grader is generous to a fault, giving beyond what is reasonable or deserved. Once my nephew-in-law was teasing him, asking for all the best candy from his piñata bag, and my son kept giving to him, happily. I could see that my nephew-in-law was just teasing, that he would keep asking until he got my son to say no, but I had to tell him that my son would give half his candy away before he said no. I totally see the Lord in this quality, giving unto us showers of blessings beyond what we have ever deserved.
My 1st grader is friendly and comforting to others, seeking out other children that are quiet or shy and pulling gently them out. She shares everything readily, without being asked. People of all ages are drawn to her. This friendly, welcoming spirit about her seems very Christ-like to me.
So, do you see Him in your children? It's so easy as parents that want the best for our children to always focus on the areas that need improvement. It was a blessing to me today to focus on at least one thing that each is doing that is godly and praise worthy.