Sometimes I can guess what Abba will have me write about from what I'm reading, but other times, He surprises me.
This morning I was reading Ezekiel 1 about the prophet Ezekiel's vision of God and heavenly things.
He says, "I was among the captives y the River Chebar, that the heavens were opened..."
His descriptions of living creatures, angelic bodies with faces of animals and wings, wheels being lifted upward, and then at the end, God are awe-inspiring and soul shaking.
"And the living creatures ran back and forth, in appearance like a flash of lighting." Ezekiel 1:14
"Wherever the spirit wanted to go, they went, because there the spirit went; and the wheels were lifted together with them, for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels." - Ezekiel 1:20
"The likeness of the firmament above the heads of the living creatures was the color of an awesome crystal..." Ezekiel 1:22
And then he goes on to the best part.
"And above the firmament over their heads was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like a sapphire stone; on the likeness of the throne, was a likeness with the appearance of a man high above it."
(He says "likeness" a lot which tickles me because describing spiritual things is so difficult using earthly vocabulary. Earthly things can look like spiritual things, but there aren't really words for the things of God and heaven. I wonder if he felt frustrated writing this. I bet.)
He goes on to say, "Like the appearance of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day, so was the brightness all around it. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord." vs 28.
I was quiet, trying to hear what Abba wanted me to take from this. It was all so beautiful and amazing. I'd read it before and it makes me feel similarly to when I read Job and God is describing things like the storehouses of snow.
He knows I love nature and most animals. We talk about it quite a bit. He love nature as well, obviously as He made it.
Soft peach and fire sunsets, white oil panted clouds, delicate new blossoms, they're all so beautiful and it's impossible to tire of gazing at them. His artistry is so detailed, masterful and cohesive when one considers all of His creations work together.
An Engineer and Artist in one? His mind is beyond comprehension in its genius and beauty, and nature is obvious proof of that.
And as I began to fall into wonder of nature, He reminded me that His best and most beloved creation on Earth is us. Humans.
I don't know why I find this shocking sometimes. Maybe because I'd rather look at a baby bird than a stranger.
But as valuable as we find nature and animals, all of these don't hold a candle to one human being, one human life.
He reminded me that it's we who are created in His image. Yes, He made many beautiful things but it is only humans who God shared His own image with and that is unspeakably special.
I forget about that sometimes. It's easy to love puppies and sunsets.
Being made in God's image carries a responsibility. To honor and take care of one's self the way one might fight to keep a precious creek unpolluted.
But doing so from a place of reverent love for an image shared with God and not from a place of not self-hatred or being insecure. Not from a place of idolatry or over identification with the only part of ourselves that won't return to Him.
The picture He gave me was of someone lending someone a delicate, artisan vase. How would one care for something valuable lent to them for a time? One wouldn't make an altar or shrine out of it, but would make sure it didn't come to harm best they could.
Dusting, polishing, keeping it from coming too close to the ledge- the things vases need.
That's what we discussed today.
So the next time you see a perfect sky or glittering lake with rays of sun across it, you can marvel that as stunning as it is, it actually doesn't hold a candle to the work of God that is you or your fellow human beings.
He let us share His image. All of us. So, as you can, take good care of yourself from a place of love. Gentle and kind care. Wise care. Knowing you're well-made by the Artist who loves you and shared Himself with you.
"I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well."
Psalm 139: 14