Sunday, October 17, 2010

Part of a Reflection

I find it intriguing how, as I fall more in love with God, I fall more in love with people. I love their faces, their hands, the way they are made, and how they move.

One of my favorite exercises is to take mental photographs of people I meet. Frozen for a moment, in black and white, I notice them more. I feel them, as I feel pieces of art as I walk through a gallery. The little lady, her vintage shawl pulled close to her wrinkled face, patiently turned in the direction her bus will approach. The powerful man, sun rippling off the waves of his dark muscles as he walks down the sidewalk, the fist of his tiny son clenched on one of his long fingers. The intent, dirty face of the culvert-layer, shadowed by his hard hat. The group of laughing college kids, nearly perfect in their youthfulness, but  furtively deciphering where they fit in the dynamic. The woman, alone at her table in the coffee shop, loudly informing the hapless recipient of her phone call the unfairness of the traffic citation she received. The man with a grungy plastic bag sitting on the bench at the corner of the park... his blank yet searching eyes.

In each person, I see their Maker's regal reflection.

In each person, I see myself.

I might be developing a frail grasp of what it means to be a part of this reflection. In a large sense, individually, we are broader, deeper, larger, and more textured because of our being in relationship with God and people. To some extent, we comprise each other, help each other find ourselves, and find ourselves in each other. Just as our the relationship of our Maker's personality is nearly impossible to dissect, without people we almost cease to be ourselves.

In losing relationship with someone, we face the fear that, irretrievably, a part of us ceases to exist.


Carla said...

Makes me think of this quote by Tony Campolo that I've been pondering: "The awareness of my connection with Jesus, who lives in and through me, is what draws me to care for those in need. I see Jesus in those in need. If I did not have that foundation, my caring for them would be of no value. It would be pity, and no one wants to be pitied. I see Christ in them, and I love them."

Joycelyn said...

...My thoughts have been going down a close stream and that is pondering over and over the book The Shack, and the concept that just as God IS love (not HAS love) God IS relational. ...Constantly in every moment in perfect relationship to all parts of the Godhead. ....So what does it mean to become more like God relationally? What does it mean to live in community rather than individualistically? What drives individualism? What about dependence and neediness? How can there be relationship without those components, -with God or man????
So much to think about....

Hannah said...

Sorry, this comment has nothing to do with your post. I was wondering how you put that cool playlist on your blog and how I can get one too! :-)

Becca said...

Hannah, go to You can create an account, build your playlist, then follow the instructions to install it on your site. It was somewhat of a pain, as I remember... but not that difficult.

dreamindance said...

Hello, Becca! I stumbled across your blog and found this post of interest.

Do you think this is because we are made in God's image - so therefore, it's really that as you fall more in love with people, you're falling even deeper in love with God? After all, we are His creations, right? But all roundabout thinking aside, I understand the admiration you describe.

I am impressed by your level of perception and aptitude for description!

Re: your statement that "in each person, [you] see [yourself]", I think this speaks to the fact of our ultimate connected-ness, don't you think? One of my ultimate goals in life is to recognize that little bit of myself in each and every person I happen to meet during my life. I've always believed that if I can learn to do that, I will have achieved my ultimate capacities for empathy and love.

I think that the definition of a relationship is to give some part of yourself (hopefully, all of yourself) to the other person. Of course, this can be a terrible thing, as you note in your last paragraph.

But I think it's also worth noting that it can be a beautiful thing, too. The process of giving something (or all) of yourself can turn you into something different - and better, even more beautiful - than you ever were to begin with. Relationships change us, sometimes for the worse...but hopefully, more often for the better :)