Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:26-27 NIV
Our country is hurting right now over racial inequality. All people, regardless of their skin tone, their physical abilities or disabilities, their socio-economic status, their political affiliations or lifestyle choices, want to be loved, valued, and respected. Many people have become so frustrated with a lack of being valued, loved or respected, they have taken to the streets in protest in recent weeks. We live in a broken world, filled with imperfect, disrespectful, and often hurtful people.
This was not God’s original plan for us. He never wanted us to value people based on skin color. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them,” Genesis 1:27. God put his stamp on us, He made us in his likeness, in his image. We are all valuable to him. John Piper, a pastor in Minneapolis says, “As Christians we believe every human regardless of disability, ethnicity, gender, or anything else is worthy of dignity, value and respect because we are created in the image of God.”
Because we are all stamped with God’s creativity, every person is deeply loved by our creator. So much so, John tells us in his gospel, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him,” John 3:16-17. Jesus came to the earth, to die on the cross, for the sins of all people, from all nations, regardless of skin tone, wealth, health, politics, or anything else. God loves everyone, and “wants all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth,” I Timothy 2:4. If we see people as God does, skin color, wealth, privilege, disability, politics and lifestyles have nothing to do with a person’s value, or dignity.
For 20 years I was blessed and privileged to be Mama to a severely disabled son. Some people may have felt his life was less valuable, or less worthy than other able-bodied people who can work and contribute to society. But I know Joshua was valuable to God, as all humans are. Revelations 7:9 tells us someday, we will see “a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the lamb.”
John Piper wrote a moving prayer for Minneapolis, watch and pray along with me.
By Grace Hunter