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As Long As I'm Alive

Hubby watched me from the dining table as I cleaned up the kitchen from lunch. We were engaged in a happy, casual conversation as I began my routine of wiping the stove surface and the counters. Ron launched into one of his philosophical analysis of people. For the record, these analyses are always enlightening and most often bring a smile. He mentioned the habits of some of the people we know and love and ended with, “. . . and Sweetie wiping the counters like Mabel.”

I thought of the many times I had people tell me, “Mabel will never be dead as long as you are alive.” To me, that is always a compliment. I’ve even had people who haven’t seen me for years, and a couple who didn’t even know me, ask me if I am Mabel’s daughter. It feels uncanny to me the ways in which people see that I bear the image of my mother.

As meaningful as resembling my mother is to me, there is another image I bear which is more important than the image of the one who gave me birth. It is the One who gave me new birth. Jesus.

I have pretty much always known that we are to follow Jesus’ example. We are to “be like” Jesus. Today however, for the first time, I think I have connected more deeply with the fact that we are God’s image bearers. I have never worked at bearing my mother’s image. It has come naturally because she gave me life and because I lived daily in her presence. Her image in me has become more obvious the older I have become.

The image we bear as Christians is a natural outflow of the new life given to us through Jesus Christ. It’s not something we work at. It’s because we have been born again. And because we live with Jesus daily, because we grow up in His presence, because we see Him working all things for our good, just like I watched my mother live her life, my habits, attitudes, and image, are hers. So Mabel will never be dead as long as I’m alive. The same is true for my second birth.

My prayer is that Jesus will never be dead as long as I’m alive. While that may sound strange to many as it does to me. I think it’s the core, the heart, of who we are in Christ and our very purpose for living. I pray that even people who don’t know me, but know Jesus, will see the resemblance. For as long as I’m alive.

That was my mama’s deepest prayer for all three of her children.

Happy Birthday, Mama. I love you.

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What a powerful message this morning! As I read your blog I was reminded of how often our children live out what they see at home. I am thankful for a Christian heritage. My desire is be God's image bearer so those I meet see Jesus. Thanks for your blogs. They give one so much to think about. I look forward to them each week.

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