This is a guest post from Peri Koussa - a fourth year PharmD student at MCPHS University in Boston. Aside from being a future health care professional, Peri is also - in her own words - "a closet poet and strong believer in the power of words." You can see more of Peri's work by checking her out on SoundCloud. And if you too are interested in guest posting on my blog, please visit my Guest Post guidelines for more info.
Understanding the concept of "The Father" can be bewildering. The challenge is being able to separate YOUR father from OUR Father.
If you think of how you came to be, there's a good chance that within your parents’ grand design there was a child. But what they couldn't design was how you would turn out: the color of your hair, the width of your smile, the sound of your voice… these were all things that weren’t within their control.
But when God added you to His grand design, every inch of you was intentional: the color of your hair, the width of your smile, even the sound of your voice.
Think of a painter; imagine the artwork they're creating and how they intentionally create every stroke, every color, and every image. Now imagine the painter finishing the artwork and reflecting on the masterpiece.
In this moment, the painter sees himself in the painting he has created. This creates an intense level of intimacy. His ability to see himself in his work comes from the idea that his work is a reflection of who he is.
That’s why it’s really easy for us to identify the works of Tim Burton versus those of Peter Max (see to the right).
Now imagine God as the Painter and you as His painting. By thinking of Him as such, it’s a lot easier to grasp how "God created man in His own image" (Genesis 1:27). By creating us, we became a reflection of Him, a piece of Him. This 'of' means you are a small part of something bigger.
When we join together as believers, we uncover that 'the bigger' is a sense of community.
When we join together in marriage, we uncover that 'the bigger' is a sense of unity.
When we join together in prayer, we uncover that the bigger is our enduring faith in an omnipotent God.
We, Christians, are a part of something bigger, and that is OUR faith. We start our prayer with "Our" because we are each a part of God. We are each a reflection of Him and TOGETHER we create a painting that is more whole, and the world calls this painting Christianity.
Being human means we were each created in God's image, but being Christian means the world can see God's image through us.
Although within Christianity there's a large sense of community, being Christian also means being able to connect with God on an intimate level. The level of intimacy that I’m talking about is the same level that an artist shares with his artwork. This is why we long for Him so intensely.
And that is why when we seek Him, He revives us. God revives us in the same way that a painter revives a painting. And through the idea of revival (bringing to life), we uncover the meaning of "Father." We uncover that "Father" may seem to be a paternal statement, but really it's acknowledging that God is "Father" because when we return to Him, He gives us [a new] life.
"Our Father" is a kaleidoscope of wonder that join together 'we' and 'self.' I paint "Our Father" metaphorically rather than literally in an effort to explain that these simple words aren't simple at all. I describe “Our Father” as a Painter and us as His painting in an effort to shine light on how TOGETHER you and me make up His finest masterpiece.