The other night at church I was struck with a few thoughts during the worship time, and so I wrote them down. I can't be sure what drove me to consider it, but here is what I scribbled in my notebook:
"Faced with the prospect of confronting God's throne, I am faced with two questions: 'Who is God? And who am I?' I seems to me that in beholding God, we must also face ourselves. For if we who are made in the image of God face him, do we not to some extent face ourselves? That is to say, do we create God in our own image? It has been said that man created God in his own image, and to some extent, this may be true.
"When visualizing some sort of abstraction, we tend to project ourselves onto it. Someone says, 'Hey there was a person here earlier . . .' and I imagine white, brunette, skinny, and awkward. '. . . and she . . .' Okay, now female me, '. . . was the blackest black lady I ever saw!' Mental perception: shattered.
"So when I face God, what perceptions are in the way of what I see? How many pairs of sunglasses have I put on in order that I am not blinded by God's glory? When I face myself, am I able to see the image of the invisible God, or a skinny, awkward, nerdy, brunette white guy? Have I traded the truth of God for the lie I have made for myself, or shall I confront the face that cannot be seen without God's sustenance?"
One of the odd things about the time frame during which I wrote this was that, as soon as I finished, the speaker at the class immediately began talking about the image of God. Not nearly in the way I was, but the connection remained in my thoughts nonetheless.
I think there is a lot to be said about a connection between how we view God and how we view ourselves. Whether it is based in what we wish we were or what we want God to be like, I cannot say. But I think this is why we are called to be transformed, rather than to transform (Rom 12.2). If it were up to me, God would probably be a lot different. But thank God it's not my decision, because God would be what I want, not what I need.
Grace and peace,