If you were to ask a handful of persons where they most often experience the presence of God, they are likely to say in prayer, during worship, in personal moments of reflection and in nature. I seriously doubt that there are very many who would say at a hockey game.
I recently did find God at a hockey game, but let’s back up and start at the beginning.
Friends of ours had two extra tickets to a Thunderbirds hockey game and we gladly accepted. Most of the time, I was intent upon the game. However, I am a people watcher and found myself looking at the crowd, observing what they were doing during the game and during the intermissions. At times I am less than kind and will say to my husband, “did you see what they are wearing” or “look what they are eating!” (I am on a diet and am both jealous and critical of those who eat high-calorie, yummy stuff like French fries, hot dogs or milkshakes.) Needless to say, those persons would not want to know what I was thinking.
So, in the middle of my people watching, a voice clearly said to me, “I love every one of you.”
You can imagine how I felt. Who am I to criticize others? Scripture tells us that we are all created in the image of God.
“The spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life” Job 33:4.
To expand upon this a bit more, I found a meditation in the “Upper Room,” a daily devotional book that reinforces these ideas. In that meditation, the author inserted a Thought For The Day. It reads, “Every single person on the earth was created in the image of God.” Notice the verse does not say some people and not others, it says every single person.
In that meditation, the author told about a potter who had discarded some of his less-than-perfect pots. As time went on his pottery became refined and very much sought after. Nearly 100 years later, his discarded pots were found in the dirt. Although they had some cracks in them, they were now very valuable because of who had made them. Here is a quote from this devotional: “The story of these pots reminds me of the nature of God’s children. We are all misshapen in some way. But each of us is made in the image of God, our creator. As with the crocks, our worth does not come from how we look or how functional we are, we are valuable because of who made us,” Mary Jane Hoffmaster.
This brief message has caused me to stop and think once again about some of the unkind thoughts or things I have said about others. Who are any of us to judge another person by their looks, their attitudes or actions? Yet we all do that. However, just like the discarded clay pots, we all have imperfections; yet we want to be accepted and know that someone loves us.
On an even different level, I have thought about persons who are in jail or prison for having committed some crime. It makes me wonder if anyone is willing to overlook what they have done. Now, I do not mean to absolve them from their crime, but to see them as a broken pot.
How do we know what has caused them to act as they did? In many cases all we know about some criminals is what the media chooses to tell. And sometimes that is done sensationally in order to get our attention to their news program.
What I am getting at is that God has made each and every one of us. We all share the same breath of life. Take a moment and think of someone whom you find it hard to be around: maybe a family member, a neighbor, a homeless person. Now think of that person as someone who is wonderfully made. Our best next step would be to pause for a moment and see if our attitude has softened because we see them differently.
We can stop and ask the Lord to help us see others through his eyes, remembering that we are all made from the same breath of life.