The Giurin’s “new-to-us” house required a lot of work to make it more liveable. It wasn’t bad when we moved in, but there where issues of utility and comfort that had to be addressed immediately, and some that can wait. Of course, even before we fixed it up we loved it, even with all its quirks and curiosities.
The process of renovation has changed the feel of the house in many ways. It is brighter, more comfortable, and more user friendly than before. The core and character of our little log home, however, has not changed very much at all. It remains a cute, quirky wee house that’s just eccentric enough to be fun.
People often talk about God changing them, renovating them from someone they didn’t like or who didn’t fit in with others, into someone much more acceptable to themselves and to God. Such change, however, doesn’t alter a person. Instead, it brings them closer to their true, authentic selves, the human created as a unique, blessed image of God.
When we are born, that image is there in the primal, simple essence. It is in our DNA and in the Spirit with which God breathes us into life. As our bodies, minds and souls grow and mature, that image, if not carefully nurtured, can become distorted or hidden. A child raised in a violent household, or one that does encourage them and help them become their best selves, grows into a less than perfect reflection of who God made them to be. That’s the story, in a nutshell, for most of us. We start out perfectly, but less than ideal conditions leave us less than perfect.
That’s where Jesus comes into the picture. Jesus is God’s means of helping us grow into who we were meant to be. Sometimes it’s a simple matter of a few tweaks and adjustments. Sometimes it’s a much bigger job, requiring an almost complete renovation and restoration of our entire selves.
Whether it’s a small job or a big one, our core essence is not changed. We remain who God made us to be, that pure, perfect image of our Creator first seen at our birth. Of course, if we strayed far from our true selves, or if circumstances all but hid who God made us to be, the transformation might be dramatic and surprising, but that’s only because we had no idea of who we really were in the first place. Yes, that does happen. Sometimes our life circumstances keep us from becoming who God made us to be. That’s certainly a challenge, but nothing God can’t handle.
Each of us is a reflection God’s image in one way or another. That God-reflecting image is who we truly are, and with Jesus’ help, we can be our best truest selves. That’s a great thing to know, but it’s even better to realize that even when we’re not at our best, God still loves us fully and wholeheartedly.