“Why was that big guy hugging you and Mom in the middle of the road?”
That was the big question from our kids before bed last night. The story that answers it tells us something about us as image bearers.
After picking our son up from baseball practice last night we were headed home. In the grassy median of a busy four lane road I noticed a woman abruptly fall down. We made a quick U-turn and headed back up onto a side street. My wife went out first and then I followed after parking. We were quickly joined by another family. Upon further inspection the lady who fell was clearly out of it and pretty highly inebriated. She was also cut up, bleeding and bruised all over the place. Myself and the other guy were attempting to keep the woman from walking back into the oncoming cars. She certainly would have been hit if we weren’t there. Our new friends joined together with us to be the physical barriers for this woman until the ambulance came. This proved to be a challenge, but we worked together and got it done.
Our kids, watching this scene unfold then saw a perfect stranger, an African-American big enough to be confused with an NFL offensive lineman, hugging Mom and Dad in the median. They asked “why?”
The answer, as I believe it, is that he was acting like an image-bearer. Though perfect strangers we are all made in God’s image and therefore somewhat related. We worked together in those brief moments to protect this woman, show her mercy, provide help, and care for her. This is where we see humanity, irrespective of religious convictions, working to do something of what we were created to do. The guy was a bit choked up. It seemed like a bit of a spiritual moment for him. Wiping the sweat from his forehead onto his cornrows he smiled and said, “God bless you.”
These types of scenes remind us of the creative power and providential care of God over all people. The outworking of image-bearing is truly a fascinating study and consideration. You can find a lot of things in a grassy median on a busy road. In our case we found some theological footprints anchored in creation. “God bless you.” He certainly has.