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 Dana’s story:   

“You okay?” 

Dana pulled the phone into bed with her and groaned even though she was happy to hear her friend’s voice.  “No.  I feel awful--miserable.  How long does the flu last?  I feel less than human.” 

Matt chuckled but genuinely felt for his friend.  “I think this strain lasts about six months,” he teased gently.  “But don’t worry, you’ve already got three days behind you.  Hey, I’m sorry you feel so bad.  I was just checking in on you.  I’ll let you sleep.  Need anything?” 

“No don’t hang up.  Just keep talking.  It’s hopeful to know that there’s life outside my cave.” 

“So you’re a troll then?  I’m trying to think what lives in a cave and is somehow less than human.  A goblin?  The goblin queen!  Your majesty!” Matt gushed playfully. 

“Humor . . . that’s good.  That’s a human thing and I was human once” sighed Dana retreating deeper into her down comforter cave.  How is it that you fantasize about staying in bed all day and watching tv—and then when you’re there—everything just adds to the nausea.  I’ve been sick for three days and already watched everything that’s ever been produced!” 

“Have you seen the new piece about Michael J. Fox?” Matt asked.  “I think that’s streaming now.  ‘Still’ I think it’s called.  Anyway, I don’t really know much more than the outline of his story, but it makes you shake your head.  On top of the world with fame and fortune, and then diagnosed with Parkinson’s while still in his twenties!” 

“Wow!” Dana managed with a little emotion.  “I didn’t realize he was so young.”   

“Yeah . . . , “ Matt’s voice trailed off. 

“What are you thinking about?” “Oh nothing.  It’s just that phrase you used:  less than human.  People practically worship beauty, energy, ability—all the things that Michael J. Fox was when he was young.  Now he’s in his sixties.  He’s kinda hard to listen to.  He’s not in control of his body because of the disease.  But people are even more inspired by his spirit.  Is he less than human?  Or is he more human for all he’s been through?”  Matt laughed, “Whoa—okay I know this much—I’m less than a friend.  I’ll shut up now.” 

“Oh you’re fine,” managed Dana.  “I’m so glad you called.  But I am fading again.  Maybe in my fever I’ll get a revelation to answer your question.” 

The story of us all:

As male and female, man was made in majesty to reflect the glory of God on earth.[1]  The image of God is imprinted in each person regardless of his or her perceived contribution or valued traits.  It’s also true that the glorious image of God has been obscured in each of us because of sin.  We reach our greatest potential when we are recreated in the likeness of Jesus Christ who was the paragon of humanity. 

One important Scripture:

Genesis 1:26-27 (ESV) 26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”  27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. 

Now, what’s your story?  You’ve heard Dana’s story.  You know the story of us all.  Now, let’s talk!

  • Are you less than human when sick or disabled?
  • What does it mean to be human?  Is that a relevant question or simply a philosophical exercise?
  • Is there any human life that is less valuable?
  • Do you ever struggle with your own sense of worth?
  • Were you blessed as a child with the message that you are significant and valuable as a person?
  • Are humanitarian efforts the highest and best ambition in living?
  • What is the purpose of your life?  Is the question important to you?
  • Have you ever known someone who seemed to “have it all together?”  How might that relate to having a clear sense of purpose?
  • Do you believe God loves all people?  Do you see people the way God sees them?

[1] Allen, Ronald.  The Majesty of Man, p. 199


Bryan Galloway about 1 year ago

We are all highly valued by God because He created us in His image. And because of His amazing grace, we can be brought into His family through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. Hallelujah! Thus, we are to represent Jesus well as redeemed people.

Rachel about 1 year ago

Sickness exposes our humanness if you ask me. It’s the consequences of a broken, sinful world and I’ll be so happy to not experience it in eternity.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about people being made in the image of God. Does that mean that everyone deserves our respect? Even when they don’t live in a way that pleases God? There must be exceptions. Maybe respect isn’t the right word. That’s hard in this day and age of media and government and other leaders who do and say such questionable things. All I know is that God says we are to Love Him and love others as ourselves. I’ll keep hashing that out.

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