If you look to the right, you’ll notice a peculiar picture. It’s a Rorschach inkblot. Made by the talented Robert Farkas over at Threadless.com, this one’s not an official inkblot (FYI, professional inkblots actually are not available publicly, even though Rorschach tests aren’t used much anymore). Remember Rorschach from Watchmen? You get the idea.
Typically, there are three types of people who look at this picture:
The first group of people see a conglomeration of ink and are either dumbfounded or unimpressed.
The second group of people (which included myself originally) realize this is a creative Rorschach inkblot and usually leave it at that.
The final group of people instantly see the image within: the wolf. Just the face. Do you see it yet?
How cool, right? When you look closely at the details, you’ll notice the mountains, the trees, and the birds making up the image which typically are present in a wolf’s habitat. The distinct harmony between the parts and the whole reveals the unique beauty of this piece. Needless to say, I bought the shirt-print of this design.
I absolutely love this kind of stuff. It’s not because of the wolf (although I do like wolves a lot), but rather because there is that unseen beauty in every nook and cranny of the design, both illicitly and implicitly shown. Visual art isn’t really my thing, but it’s these sorts of designs with hidden elements of significance that really draw me in. They’re special.
I know I’m definitely not alone in this, and it’s in these sequences of deep wonder that a lot of people really come to worship God more: finding a gorgeous view (for me, my girlfriend) from an off-path on a mountain trail, listening to classical music, seeing animals in the wild, etc. The fingerprints of God are all over creation, and they reflect His majesty (Job 26:7-9, 11-14, Psalm 104: 24-25). As God romances us with these things, we’re apt to look for them more.
Except for one place. People. That’s usually where most Christians don’t look.
We don’t normally see unseen beauty in homeless people.
Hidden significance is not something we often look for in those with disabilities.
How about unbelievers? Most Christians are too afraid to engage them and shy away from getting out of their comfort zone.
Everyday strangers? I think we pass by most without any compassion or curiosity to their needs whatsoever.
Here’s the reality, though – every single human being is made in the image of God, and God loves His image-bearers. Does everyone need Jesus? Yes. Are people good? No, no one is.
But you can’t deny that in the loves and hobbies and preferences and strengths of humanity, God has planted His image there. He finds value in us, and He desires that everyone would come to Him (1 Timothy 2:3-4).
If you pass by every stranger on the street knowing they bear the image of the Almighty Creator, how will this change your relationships? Who will you give time to you didn’t before?
Faith is twisted when we let God shape how we look at certain parts of creation but not the creation He cares for most: humans. It doesn’t really matter how we interpret art, cool shirt designs, or whatever intrigues us to look deeper; the fact is that Jesus died for humans. He wants to redeem humans.
If we ignore this, then we really don’t get the picture at all.