In order to keep pushing myself creatively I'm taking a sculpting class at the university this quarter. Sculpting grants me an opportunity to try my hand and creativity in a new dimension (but I suppose that's obvious). Our assignment was to make 3 separate busts, each with exaggerated characteristics. I didn't really have anyone in mind when creating this guy. He seems to be a cross between Teddy Roosevelt, Colonel Sanders and Santa Claus who's done really well on the South Beach Diet. I have a some ideas for the next two busts but I'll keep you in suspense until tomorrow.
Devotions took me through the final two chapters in Esther and Luke 19, today. You'll be happy to know the Jews overcame their enemies who sought to kill them (Esther 9-10) and dedicated a day of rest and festivities; Purim (http://www.jewfaq.org/holiday9.htm), which is still celebrated yearly. Chapter 19 in the book of Luke begins with the somewhat infamous Zacchaeus. I'm guessing his name was probably one people attached nasty adjectives to. I had a tough time just reading the story without getting distracted and singing the song I learned about "Wee Little" Zacchaeus in Sunday School. What I found that both of these stories had in common were image and belonging. Esther and her people belonged to God and had His favor. Because the king exalted Mordicai to such a high place in his kingdom, Mordicai's image and that of his people, was restored. Jesus said of Zacchaeus, "he, too, is a son of Abraham." Zacchaeus was detested as a tax collector but Jesus gave him belonging, as a son of Abraham (this ancestral descent was essential to a Jew), and restored his image. Why are image and belonging important?
People will do anything to belong. If they don't find acceptance and belonging at home they'll look elsewhere. A young girl will give herself to a guy to belong, to be loved. Children and young adults will join gangs to belong and have an "image" that others fear. A husband or wife might have an extramarital affair with someone who "accepts" them more than their spouse seems to. Hollywood tells us image is everything...unfortunately, the image they portray as everything betrays and perverts all that God desires our images to reflect.
I read an amazing blog this morning- about acceptance, belonging, and image. How we treat our children and others will affect their personal image, sometimes for life. I hope you'll take the time to read it, too.
Praying that God will speak to your heart today, letting you know He loves and accepts you, is recreating you into His image, and lets you know, without a doubt, you belong.