I am older than my sister by two years.  She went away to college (Texas) while I was attending college close to home.  She was tall.  I was not.  She wore glasses all the time.  Not me.  Different hairstyles.  Different clothing styles.  Still, while she was away to school, many Sundays, people at the church we attended came up to me and asked, “Denise, how is Texas?”  Somewhat hurt, I pointed out that I was MELINDA, the one who stayed home and went to Davis.   In my mind I thought about how different we were and was dumbfounded that people could confuse us.  At one point, though, when talking to my sister on the phone, I saw the humor in their confusion.  Wow, Denise.  They must really think you like our church to fly back each weekend from TEXAS to attend service!  What she and I could not see, however, was what others did – a family resemblance.  And while we still sometimes have a difficult time seeing our similarities, when others see our pictures, they often sigh and say, ahhh, she looks kinda like you….I can tell you are related.  And now?  It makes me smile.
This week was our second week exploring the virtue CREATIVITY…imaging what you can do because you’re made in God’s image.  In our 2nd/3rd grade class, kids got the opportunity to pair up into teams and compete in our “Mirror Image” competition.  One child was the leader, and moved in different creative ways while the follower copied as closely as possibly.  The trick was to do it SO closely in time as to make it hard for the audience to figure out which kid was the leader.  We had a SUPER FUN time and there were actually two third-grade boys who did SUCH a good job, we actually DID have trouble picking the “leader.”
We are spending a lot of time this month telling our kiddos how they are made in God’s image.  One of our AMAZING volunteers asked kids how they are like their parents.  Do they like to cook like their Dad?  Are they good at math like their Mom?  And kids were SO PROUD to raise their hands and share how they are similar to their folks.  This question really helped them understand how, just as they are like their parents in some ways, they are like their HEAVENLY father in a LOT of ways.  We are also impressing upon them the second and SUPER IMPORTANT part of this – God expects us to use the gifts He gives us, including creativity, to serve others and show them Jesus’ love.
And, as the explanation said, creativity involves imagination.  But I have to admit, my imagination all-too-often centers around myself.  How I can find rest in the midst of chaos or how I can avoid really dealing with issues that NEED to be dealt with.   10 easy steps to organizing your house?  I’m in.  15-minute meals?  Bring ‘em on.  Three quick ways to get your kids to clean their rooms?   You had me at “QUICK….”  I may have creativity.  My imagination may run wild.  But it is rarely racing towards that which my Heavenly Father says is priority #1.  Loving others and sharing Jesus with them.
When I think of the two boys today who so closely matched each other’s movements, I wonder what my world would look like if I did that with God.  But here’s the rub.  These boys did not take their eyes off of each other.  Copying the leader took ALL of the follower’s attention.  For a moment, we, the audience, ceased to exist.  Am I prepared to do that?  To look at my Heavenly Father SO CLOSELY, to become SO FAMILIAR with His Word, that I look like Him?  Speak words that match His words, take steps which are His steps, see the people – the hurts, the needs, the tears – HE wants me to see?  And block out all the things which seem SO IMPORTANT to me but which keep me from staying in unison with my Father?
Some people think I look like my sister.  And that is perfectly fine with me.
But there is really only one thing I truly long to hear.
She looks just like her Father.
Melinda Lamera
Sun Grove Children’s Ministry