“The heavens declare Your glory, and their expanse is the work of Your hands.”
“Through Him all things were made, and apart from Him was made nothing that was made.”
“He is … the firstfruits of all creation … In Him all things subsist.”
“Then God said, ‘Let Us make man, in Our image, after Our likeness.’”
God is the All: the Love, the Goodness, the Beauty, the Power, the Life, the Being, the One that is. All things are created by Him, and from Who He is alone they derive their existence. He is the One and the Infinite, the I AM. By Him all things are created, and in Him they have their being. He is the source and substance of Being. Except by sharing in His Being – in His Image – nothing can exist: for He is the All, He is all Goodness. There is no other Being or Image to share or receive or gain, for He is the I AM WHO AM. He IS.
Nor can we speak of what or whom is more or less loved by God, for He is the One and the Infinite. He is the I AM. He is Love itself: pure and infinite forever. By nature of Who He Is, He loves each and every creation of His infinitely and uniquely … specially. Each one is supremely special to Him Who is Love. Nothing need share His Love with anything else, need be loved less or less uniquely and specially than anything. Nothing need take second portions of His Love, nothing need be preferred more or less greatly by His special attentions. There is no room in the heart of Infinite Love to not love something specially and infinitely.
I write this because a lot of people say that man is God’s most prized creation – note, I said most prized, not prize, for every creation is God’s prize creation – and there is a way in which this makes sense, yet it is profoundly wrong and misses how great is the Love of God – yes, even how great is the Love of God for humans. I think here of when the Apostle refers to himself as the “beloved disciple.” It is true. And its truth does not in the least suggest that any other – or that all others – are not the beloved disciple. Yet there is no question of equality where all is Infinite.
It is only right that we should know best the ways in which we are special to God, that we should see best the ways in which we are made in His Image, that we should know best the Love which He has for us – we cannot and are not supposed to know what God’s relationship with a blade of grass or a star might be. We are made to revel in the Love which we know that God has for us, though we cannot know – certainly not so intimately – the Love He has for a mountain or a cloud. Yet that does not mean that we should pretend that He does not Love the mountain or the cloud, the blade of grass or the star, infinitely, uniquely, and specially, or that these things do not each show forth His Image in their own unique way, as all other things, ourselves included, do not. God is Infinite and Infinitely Wise; He does nothing simply for effect. Nothing is a throw-away. Nothing is the object of less than His infinitely loving care and attention. And, if we assume that these things are somehow lesser than we are, because we experience and know about what God has done for us, and we know very little about what He is and has done for them, we shall miss what they are, and we shall miss what they can show us of Who He is, as they, like ourselves, reflect His Image and Likeness. And if we will not know that He loves all Infinitely, we shall know less than we could of how infinitely we ourselves are loved. If we will not accept that all are infinitely special to Him, we shall not know how special we are to Him.
Furthermore, I find that many of these who hold that humans alone are created in the image and likeness of God, also hold that we must be cautioned against “making God in our own image.” But if we are the only image of God, wouldn’t that make sense in a way? If we must be so careful of making God in our own image, isn’t it likely there is a great deal of God which we do not image, and which other creations might? Does not everything show us this? Does anyone not know that the sun shows us something about God that we could not discover from ourselves alone? Does not all language and poetry bear witness to this?
Copyright 2020 Raina Nightingale