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To Infinity and Beyond

"I’m only human," we snap at our accuser.

Or, "He must be an angel." This to explain the man who snatched a child from in front of an oncoming car, putting his own life in danger.

We’ve forgotten what it means to be human.

We’ve forgotten God created us in His image (and is restoring Christians to that image). We’ve forgotten He gave us the responsibility of caring for this creation.

We’ve forgotten that we are immortal.

"I’m only human," we snap at our accuser.

Or, "He must be an angel." This to explain the man who snatched a child from in front of an oncoming car, putting his own life in danger.

We’ve forgotten what it means to be human.

We’ve forgotten God created us in His image (and is restoring Christians to that image). We’ve forgotten He gave us the responsibility of caring for this creation.

We’ve forgotten that we are immortal.

Flip through Scripture, and you’ll find that while God uses angels to close mouths of lions (no comments from the peanut gallery), accompany His chosen through fire, and announce good tidings of great joy, He more often uses ordinary, even disgusting humans to do extraordinary, beautiful things.

It is a human who defeats a giant and saves a nation. It is a human who bears the son of God into the world. It is a human who touches another and restores life.

Ordinary, even disgusting humans.

It is a human who leads God’s people out of captivity, across the floor of the Red Sea, and through a wilderness. Humans march around a city until the walls tumble. Humans sew together fine linen to clothe the body of the God-man.

I do not mean to imply that this has all been done on human power. Quite the contrary. Humans are not divine (with one notable exception). Part of forgetting what it means to be human is forgetting the dependent relationship in which we were created to live. And the power we can access when we live in that relationship. Power to forgive, to love, to create.

We have pictures of this. A snapshot in the beginning. Another in our happily-ever-after. We have a whole photo album of the impossible done through mere humans in Scripture. We catch a glimpse when a man like Michael Phelps touches the wall to win his eighth gold in one Olympic. Or when a little girl breaks her sandwich in two and gives a piece to the girl who has none. Or when a composer creates something that both captures and transcends our experience.

We have glimpses in the missionary who goes to the end of the world to spread God’s kingdom of good, in the firefighter who walks into the fire and returns with someone’s grandmother, in the family who sponsors a needy child, sending not just a monthly check but letters and gifts which contain the life-giving touch of humanity.

Too often, our eyes reflecting the glare from our computer screen, our rear-ends spreading on our chairs, our bellies full of Doritos, we forget we’ve been created for greatness.

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Heather Goodman received her Th.M. from Dallas Theological Seminary and currently homeschools her three children. Her writing can be found in If:Equip, Art House, and other publications.

6 Comments

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    Sharifa Stevens

    Doritos, Huh?

    For me lately, it’s been peanut butter cup ice cream, or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, or Chick Fil A.

    And my iPod glare instead of the computer glare (unless you count work).

    I agree with Michelle: "ouch"…and thank you.

    Switchfoot’s song "Meant to Live" comes to mind:

    Fumbling his confidence
    And wondering why the world has passed him by
    Hoping that he’s bid for more than arguments
    And failed attempts to fly, fly

    We were meant to live for so much more
    Have we lost ourselves?
    Somewhere we live inside
    Somewhere we live inside
    We were meant to live for so much more
    Have we lost ourselves?
    Somewhere we live inside

    Dreaming about Providence
    And whether mice or men have second tries
    Maybe we’ve been livin with our eyes half open
    Maybe we’re bent and broken, broken

    We were meant to live for so much more
    Have we lost ourselves?
    Somewhere we live inside
    Somewhere we live inside
    We were meant to live for so much more
    Have we lost ourselves?
    Somewhere we live inside

    We want more than this world’s got to offer
    We want more than this world’s got to offer
    We want more than the wars of our fathers
    And everything inside screams for second life, yeah

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      Heather A. Goodman

      I first heard that song on

      I first heard that song on The Edge and thought, why, that’s really good theology. This band understands it better than most "Christian" bands.

      Then I learned who they are. 😉

      I really like that song.

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      Heather A. Goodman

      I loved Bela commentary
      I loved Bela commentary throughout the gymnastics–he blew off my steam when I got mad at the judges and he celebrated all the fun stuff.

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