family resemblance

“i ask not only on behalf of these, but on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one.  as you, father, are in me and i am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”

john 17: 20 – 21

to be in relationship is to become like the one with which you relate.  for good or for ill, i bear the fruit of relating to each person i’ve loved upon this flesh and in the thoughts of my heart.  my parents, my closest friends, admired ones and lovers.  there are those that i’ve sought with intention to become as they are and they show up in a word, in a look.

i was talking to someone about the impossibility of the trinity.  they pointed out the verse above as evidence against it.

“so is jesus saying that the disciples are god then? if he and the father are one, he’s asking that every believer be completely one as well? does that mean you’re god?”

it’s a good question and i thought about it for days.  i couldn’t figure it out though. approaching the bible with infallible human logic fell short time after time.

but i didn’t need to worry, my bones brought me the answer.

i have felt my face form a look my husband tends to wear upon his.  looking through pictures i see a grin on me that graces the face of a much loved friend and teacher.  when i held my newest baby and realized she had no concept of herself apart from me, all these things silenced my wondering.

we become one.

we are built to do it.  what we can’t understand is what we do every minute.  she is her mother’s daughter.  the greater the love the greater the resemblance.  jesus prays the same prayer for everyone who believes through the words of his disciples.

no wonder they changed the world.

their features stretched on their bones to encompass the very face of god on flesh as they got to know him, to love him.

ever since adam and eve our faces and our spirits form in similarity to those we love. its in our blood.

red hair from a great grandmother that no one alive has ever seen.  a boy who looks just like his father, but so does his daughter and she is the loveliest of all of her peers. somehow this endless mingling and trading and morphing down the years is more than genetics – it’s birds of a feather, it’s the imprint of love that makes us less individual and more like one.

(repost from the archives)
photo credit ~ amykimballphotography

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