I grew up watching Sally Struthers standing in the midst of tragic poverty, talking about how we can make a difference. Remember commercials like this?
I felt pity.
I’m thankful Sally helped make the USA aware of needs around the world, but my perspective has grown.
Page one of the Bible says, “So God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them” (Gen. 1:27, NIV).
I’ve heard the “Image of God” truth my entire life, but have paid more attention to it recently:
1. We can have relationship with Him.
2. When in relationship with Him, we can speak up on His behalf. Not that we always do so accurately…but we have that opportunity.
3. We’re created with creativity and uniqueness.
4. We are precious to Him.
The children Sally holds are precious to Him as well…and because I’m in relationship with Him (1) and can speak up on His behalf (2), I want to use whatever creativity He’s given me (3) to share this…
Each starving child is His creation, and we as humans are neglecting that creation. Offensive.
He created those being trafficked with a desire to show them abundant life, but they’re being treated as less than human. Offensive.
Today, 21,000 will die of preventable diseases often related to unclean water or malnutrition, but Christians around the world aren’t yet doing enough about it. How can humans treat His creation with such neglect and carelessness? I’m offended.
If you painted something beautiful for me (as God has created those children) and I tore it up (as humans neglect and hurt those children), some would be sad that I’m missing out on that gift you’ve given, but all would be offended at my treatment of something precious and thoughtful from you. I’m offended at the way His creation is forced to live.
On their behalf I still feel some sense of pity*, but on His behalf I feel offense.
(This site is filled with thoughts on what to do about it.)
*The feeling of pity towards them has morphed as well, but I’ll share thoughts on that another day.