There is a an rabbinical adage that says that a person should always carry two pieces of paper with them. It should be written on one of them: “You are as dust and ashes.” (Job 30:19). On the other should be written: “For you the universe was created.” (Gen 1).
Because of Christmas #2: His Face
Posted on November 18, 2016
I’ve been thinking about this saying for a couple of days now. I like the dichotomy between these two perspectives. I like picturing myself with two pieces of paper – one in each hand. My one hand has a red sticky note that says Elohim made us out of some of the smallest ugliest parts under our feet. On my other hand is a blue sticky note that says we are the center of His universe.
I understand the wisdom of this saying. There are times we are really ugly and make awful decisions. However – there are also times when when our decisions help us soar beyond our wildest dreams – as if the universe lay at our feet. If we can keep our two hands within our sight, we will see the whole of who we are instead of being blinded by one hand or the other.
I kept thinking of that Rabbinical saying today as I read chapter 2 in “Because of Bethlehem”. I don’t know when this adage came into Jewish tradition. Perhaps Rabbi Yeshua repeated it to is own disciples – sans the sticky notes of my visualization. What I do know is that in one timeless moment Elohim reached in among the dusty ashes once more and gave shape to His own face, body and being.
“For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”~Is 9:6-7
Max Lucado summed it up pretty well in one sentence: “He took on your face in the hope that you would see His.” (p20). The more I thought about these two things, the more I saw myself – sitting in my childhood church. My hands folded in prayer – sitting between my mother and father. Heads bowed – hands together. The sticky notes of who I am – no longer color separated but white beyond description.
That’s what Grace does when we see who we are through His eyes – His child for whom the universe was created. [google image]