To the leaf who fell before his time –

I wrote this poem during class one day, after I had passed a cluster of green-leafed trees that were being de-leafed because of a fierce autumn wind.

With a fear of heights this leaf does live,
            But connected to a tree,
He grows strength from her perspective.
            This knowledge makes him free.

He takes delight in his bright green color
            And in the fresh look of his face.
His comfort grows much fuller
            As he becomes familiar in this place.

He feels the strong heat of the sun,
            And the warm glow of the moon.
He makes memories on his branch,
            He listens to the bluebird’s tune.

But unexpectedly, one windy night,
            As he is sleeping in sweet peace,
He is awakened with a rustling fright.
            He must surrender to the breeze.

As he tumbles down from the tree so tall
            With terror in his mind,
His heart is surprised that his fall
            Is met by a pile of leaves so kind.

He has reached his new destination,
            Though he is lowest to the ground,
He is on a firmer foundation.
            True stability has he found.

For, he’s learning that his steadiness
            Comes not in what is still,
But in the wind that shares its friendliness
            And offers its own thrill.

Imago Dei.

“The term imago Dei refers most fundamentally to two things: first, God’s own self-actualization through humankind; and second, God’s care for humankind. To say that humans are in the image of God is to recognize the special qualities of human nature which allow God to be made manifest in humans. In other words, for humans to have the conscious recognition of their being in the image of God means that they are the creature through whom God’s plans and purposes can be made known and actualized; humans, in this way, can be seen as co-creators with God. The moral implications of the doctrine of imago Dei are apparent in the fact that if humans are to love God, then humans must love other humans, as each is an expression of God.”  (Imago Dei–Image of God)

Bearing His image.

We, image bearers of the Divine,
Called to live cruciform lives
With open arms, with open hearts
Without guard, without defense
With fullest vulnerability.

Knowing that One sacrificed Himself

With fullest vulnerability
Without guard, without defense.
With open arms, with open heart
To live a cruciform life
So that we may bear His image.

*  *  *  *  *

Seeing His image.

The Imago Dei—
The image of the very God who dwells in Heaven
Rests in me.
The image of the very God who came to Earth
Rests in me.

The Imago Dei—
The image of the very God who dwells in Heaven
Rests in my neighbor.
The image of the very God who came to Earth
Rests in my neighbor.

*  *  *  *  *

Respecting His image.

How often I deny the image of God in my neighbor,
Asserting that his humanness is far too depraved
For God’s likeness to dwell in him.
Yet the same God who always delights in showing mercy to me
Delights in showing mercy to him.
Just as I cannot comprehend why He would place His image in me,
Yet still I accept such an honor,
So will I honor my neighbor
By seeing God’s image in him.