See God’s Image in Another

“Then the Lord God said, it is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” (Genesis 2:18)

We often hear that man is made in the image and likeness of God. It comes up so often, that we can sometimes lose the importance of the statement. This statement leads us down two paths: the path of understanding human nature and the path of growing in our knowledge and love of who God is. The grand majority of the time, “the image and likeness of God” is taken to tell us something about who man is – who am I in my nature, in my relationship to God, in my relationship to my neighbor and to all of creation? But there is an even bigger gift than self-knowledge embedded in our creation in God’s image and likeness. We are invited to see God, both through our own humanity and through the humanity of our neighbor. In understanding how we relate to the world, to our neighbor and within ourselves we are given the gift of entering ever so slightly into an understanding of who God is.

Being in a smaller, more concentrated group of people allows us to practice this action of seeing God in the other, learning about God from the other and through the other. Not only do we get practice seeking God in human relationships, but we get practice revealing God through our intentional interactions with our group members. Adam and Eve give us the first example of this elevated vision. Looking at Eve, Adam sees in triplicate: he sees Eve as Eve, he sees Eve as a reflection of himself, and he sees Eve as a reflection of God. This is the service that we provide to each other when we come together. You show people the unique goodness that God has built into who you are. You reflect back to others the beauty God has given them. You simultaneously see and reveal the face of God as He has placed it in your nature from the first moment of your existence.

 

(Image taken from http://www.orthodoxgifts.com/creation-of-eve-icon/)