So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (Gen. 1:27)
OSCAR ISN’T LIKE OTHER KIDS. His eyes slant upward, his tongue protrudes, and his nose is somewhat flattened. His muscle tone is poor and he’s already had two heart surgeries. He’ll never go to college, and he may live with his parents the rest of his life. Oscar is different because he has Down syndrome.
But Oscar is also just like other kids. He loves to laugh and wrestle with his dad. His smile lights up a room. There’s never been a butterfly he hasn’t chased.
Even though Oscar has mental, emotional, and physical limitations, at his core he’s fundamentally valuable. Because Oscar, just like all of us, is made in the image of God.
When we explore the theological idea of being made in God’s image, we often consider traits of God that He’s given to humans like creativity and ingenuity; the desire for relationship; the abilities to build, design, discover, and work. And it’s true: These traits do reflect our Creator.
But ultimately, people like Oscar—or those who may be severely disabled, the elderly, the infirm, the unborn—reveal something deeper about God’s image stamped within us. It’s not about what we can do, contribute, or accomplish. It’s not something others can evaluate, measure, or size up. It’s an indelible dignity—an incomprehensible value—that can never be erased. And it’s stamped within your soul too.
Recognize and celebrate the image of God in the people around you!
Kelli B. Trujillo is the author of the Flourishing Faith series (Wesleyan Publishing House), devotional studies to fit into the busy lives of women. She also loves hiking and sky-gazing.