Written by Jennifer Brownell
"So God created humankind in God's image, in the image of God – created them! Male and female, God created them." - Genesis 1:27
On a recent visit to New York City, I got off a red-eye from the West Coast and onto the wrong subway train. I mean, was heading in the right direction, but I had not intended to take the local, stopping at every single station.
I was worried I might be late to my commitment. But the local was not without its compensations. We were visited, for example, by a young man who performed elaborate gymnastics among the car's poles. We were treated to the beautiful music of a violinist who stopped by. And then a young woman hopped on the train, and began to sing to the accompaniment of music from a speaker she carried with her.
I was still trying to figure out if I would be on time to where I was going, so I did not join about half the captive audience in the applause that followed this performance. But then she spoke, loudly enough for everyone to hear. "I used to be lonely and sad," she smiled, "But I have found my life's purpose and it is to bring others joy through music. I hope that you have enjoyed this song, but mostly I pray that you also find your life's purpose."
Like the woman on the train, your attempts at creativity, at connection may not seem to catch everyone's eye. But remember that you are created in God's image. That means showing up, speaking up, living out the purpose for which you were created, whatever that may be. That sleepy-eyed commuter in the corner may look distracted, but maybe she's paying attention after all.
Creator, Remind us however you can that you created each of us in your image and gave each of us a life's purpose. Amen.
Jennifer Brownell is the Pastor of First Congregational Church of Vancouver, Washington, and the author of Swim, Ride, Run, Breathe: How I Lost a Triathlon and Caught My Breath, her inspiring memoir.