Here’s a story that always makes me smile. A little girl was intently drawing a picture. Her teacher came over and asked her what she was drawing, to which she replied, “I’m drawing a picture of God!” The teacher smiled and explained that no one really knows what God looks like. The little girl answered, “They will when I get done.”
In Gen 1:27 we read, “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Recently, I was challenged to see the people around me from this perspective. Each one is created in the image of God. Image Dei. We see the glorious creation all around us and we know that God is holding all things together, but it is in others that we can truly see His image.
It’s now been over 40 years since I flew across the country from Ontario to British Columbia to attend a “One Year Special” course at Northwest. A terrified, homesick seventeen-year-old, who never imagined the direction my life would take, where God would lead, and how I would see Him all around me, every day. As an alumnus I like to recall some of the friendships and acquaintances formed during my Northwest journey and even occasionally opening a yearbook as someone comes to mind. My five years at Northwest, (four as a student and one working in the office) were foundational years and they left a huge impression on my life. The courses were important, but it was the people – created in the image of God – who made the difference. The students we studied with, the professors who poured their wisdom into us, the people we served and those who served us. All of them: Image bearers.
Over the past 2 years there have been times when we wondered if some of the people around us were from another planet. There were so many different views on living life through a pandemic. Everyone, including family and friends, seemed to have strongly held opinions. Many times, I had to remind myself to show kindness and to see in them the image of God. Imago Dei – In His Image.
The years have ticked by, some have gone ahead and others are retiring from their work. But the wonderful thing is that we can continue to bless the next generation. We can find new ways to serve. We can model kindness and generosity to a world in desperate need of these. Let us never stop being the image bearers. And to those who wonder if they can ever know what God really looks like, let us be like the little girl and simply say, “You will when we get done.”
Bev (Kostiuk) Ott graduated from Northwest with a Bachelor of Religious Education in 1978. One of her best memories at Northwest was working on the Yearbook Committee for 3 years. She lives in Port Perry, Ontario and attends St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church. After working as a Business Administrator in a church office for over 20 years, she is now a very happy Gramma. Bev is involved with Care Groups, volunteering at the Foodbank, and has led the Alpha Marriage course along with her husband, Jack.