Social Justice Series
Michael studied his reflection in the mirror for a long moment, trying to see if something a teacher had said earlier that day was true. He turned his face to the left, then to the right, and finally lifted his chin slightly. Nope. He couldn’t see it. He just couldn’t see it.
Earlier, as he’d been standing at the whiteboard at school, working on some math problems before heading out for recess, Miss Thompson had called to him from her big desk at the front of the room. “Hey, Michael,” she’d said. “When you’re deep in thought, you look just like your mother.”
The boy leaned closer to the mirror and tried to look deep in thought. Nope. He just looked like Michael—with a thatch of brown, unruly hair, brown eyes, and brown skin. His mother, on the other hand, had straight hair and hazel eyes. The only thing they had in common was the brown skin, and even that looked different to him. Her skin was always washed and smooth. His was usually covered with the remnants of the latest soccer game, adventure in the backyard with his dog Sparky, or traces of whatever he’d enjoyed for supper.
Finally, Michael decided that the best way to figure out what Miss Thompson saw was to go look at his mom. He found her sitting in her favorite chair by the window, reading a book. He stood before her, gazing into her face, studying each feature carefully.
After a long moment, his mother looked up from her reading. “May I help you?” she asked.
Michael frowned. “I don’t look like you at all,” he said. “Miss Thompson was wrong.”
Mother smiled. “Oh, I don’t know. We have the same eyes and nose shapes. Our chins are somewhat alike, too.”
“Really?” Michael gasped. “Do I really look like you? Why?”
The woman closed her book and smiled. “Well, it makes sense. I am your mother. Your dad and I created you. So, you shouldn’t be surprised if you look like one or both of us.” She paused. “And, there’s someone else you look like.”
“God!” Michael gasped as he sat down in a nearby chair, shaking his head. “I don’t look like God.”
Mother leaned forward slightly. “Well, think about it. When the Creator formed man from dirt, it was right after God said, ‘Let’s make humans in our image.’ Since we’re descendants of Adam and Eve, we can be pretty sure that they had two eyes, two ears, one nose, two arms, two legs, two hands, two feet, and hair, just like us.”
Michael thought for a moment. “I look like Adam and Eve?”
“Yes, and God—or at least an earthly version of Him,” Mother said. “Of course, sin has damaged us. We get old, we get injured or sick, we don’t take good care of ourselves, other people hurt us, our habits change us. But, yes, I think we all look like Adam and Eve…and God. We were created in His image.”
“That’s why we should love other people,” she continued. “That’s why we should care for them and treat them fairly. We all came from the same Creator’s hand. And, when Jesus died on the cross, it was to save everyone no matter what sin had done to us; no matter how we looked or dressed or spoke. We’re all exactly the same in the mind
Michael hurried back to the mirror and gazed at his reflection. “Yes,” he thought, “I guess I do look like my mother, and everyone else in the whole world.”
That thought made him happy.
Charles Mills is the author of more than 50 published books and over 300 articles. Mills began his career at Faith for Today and the Adventist Media Center in Newbury Park, California. For the past 35 years, he has been an independent media producer, writer, and radio/television host. His most recent releases include Refreshed Parables and Surprising Nature for young readers, and Religion in the Real World and The Ultimate Prescription (co-written with cardiologist Dr. James Marcum).