By Ali Almail
I am sure all of us have encountered the popular phrase of the Imago Dei, emphasizing that we are fashioned in the image of God. This phrase is instrumental in fostering an environment that values humanity through the incarnation of Jesus Christ. However, this term is often applied in reference to a single person, which I find dissuades us from a more holistic definition.
Stepping back and observing creation as a whole, we can observe that all of us reflect the image of God. Creation is a beautiful mosaic where each component is a masterpiece by itself and becomes an even more grand work of art when combined with fellow masterpieces. I see God weaving his beautiful tapestry of grandeur and faith when I look into the lives of people around me, as each person humbly reveals a unique aspect of God.
Throughout my journey with Christ, I have found that when I surround myself with people who share in the Christian faith, I feel full yet empty. Conversely, when I surround myself with people of different faiths, I feel empty yet filled. These thoughts and feelings have prompted me to ponder this odd occurrence. Due to these continued feelings, I have come to believe more in the communal Imago Dei. Each of us reflects God’s nature, and we can perceive parts of him through the lives of other people. Oh, has it been a blessing to nourish my faith amidst people who present a different element of God’s unified nature!
Northwestern has been and will continue to be a place where I can learn more about Christ’s nature by surrounding myself with people from different walks of faith. From those who approach God with a child-like faith, I have learned trust and humility. Looking into the eyes of the skeptic, I have found comfort in their questions that they pose to God. As I shared in the pain of others, I have learned to surrender my cares and worries to God. From the reverent Muslims I have learned that we cannot pray to God enough and that we must earnestly seek an intimate connection. From the Hindus I have learned to love and respect people who walk a different path in life. From all my friends I have glimpsed the love of God, and oh is it so sweet. All these people, who share in the communal Imago Dei, have nurtured my faith and helped its roots soak into Godly soil. These lessons have taught me about the sacrificial and loving nature of Jesus Christ which is best reflected in his ultimate sacrifice where he shed his blood for us. I am thankful for these people that God has placed in my life, who have taught continually drawn me in to the infinite nature of Christ.
As colors are to a painting, we are all masterful creatures that when combined together, form a glimpse of Christ’s awe-inspiring nature.