So today I want to tell you about this experience I once had while working at a week long summer retreat for middle schoolers called Junior Youth Program (JYP). JYP takes place once a year during Youth Week at Kanuga Conference Center and is by far one of my favorite places to go visit.
A few years back, I remember we did this thing called an “Affirmation Circle”. This was my first time doing this, it was a little awkward, a little silly, but the end result of this is by far one of the coolest things I have ever experienced.
Imagine this, you are going about you day, just living your life. Near the end of the day one of your friends comes up to and says that they need to tell you something, something important.
“I see God in you.”
Whoa… How do you respond to that?!
Now sometimes you may hear someone joke about something along these lines but imagine that your friend said this to you in a very genuine serious tone, makes eye contact with you and tells you, “I see God in you.”
Would you believe it?
So in this affirmation circle, you took turns going around the circle, you make eye contact with each person, and you tell each person that you see God in each one of them. For many people, this was the easy part of the circle. The telling part.
Then the other part was not so easy, the listening part. Every person in the circle will also take turns making eye contact with you and telling you, that they see God in YOU.
Many times you can easily see the discomfort in people as they stand there and listen to someone tell them that they are God like.
Why is it that we can easily see the good and kindness in others yet we struggle so hard to see it and accept when it is noticed in ourselves.
One thing that I remember that I heard in high school that has stuck with me over the years is that you are like a slab of marble and God is the artist.
Every thing that happens slowly shapes you and forms you. As you continue to grow, you begin to take shape but you are always shaped at the hands of the artist.
Now, there is a story that has become rather popular. This story is used in movies and literature such as Dan Brown’s Digital Fortress. The story goes that when an artist would be carving a sculpture, they would make a mistake, or chip off too much, or drill out the hair wrong. When the sculpture would mess up, they would fill it with melted wax, which would then harden and be shaped to look like they had not made a mistake. But some artists had such a steady hand and were so talented that they could carve an entire statue without any flaws, no mistakes, perfect. When they did this, the artist would sign the sculpture as “without wax”.
While this story is now mostly regarded as folklore, the story is still a very nice one and to be honest it just works really well with my story.
So tonight when you get home from school or from work or from whatever practice you had tonight…look in the mirror.
And tell yourself…“In all places…At all time. I see God in you.”
“So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” –Genesis 1:27
“You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” – Matthew 5:48
We are created in the image of God. If we are made in God’s image, how can you not see God in that.
You are a wonderful, special, one-of-a-kind sculpture. That is constantly begin carved and shaped by the hands of the Creator God.
Made in God’s image.