Summary: We are valuable as humans because we are made in God’s image
In the Image of God
Imagine that you are driving your car at a high rate of speed and as you approach a stoplight at a busy downtown intersection you realize that your brakes have totally failed.
As you quickly survey the situation you see that, parked on the right is a brand new BMW...parked on the left is a big diesel trailer truck carrying thousands of dollars of valuable cargo.
On either side of the car and truck are expensive pieces of real estate....and walking right in front of you...right in the middle of your lane is one of the most pathetic looking human beings you have ever seen. She appears to be very unhealthy....hardened by years of sleeping on park benches or under bridges....Her mouth droops to one side....her clothes are a conglomeration of filthy rags...she drags one foot behind the other in a kind of limp....and her demeanor tells you that there is probably something wrong with her mental faculties.
Now....remember....your brakes have failed....so as you hurtle toward this intersection at high speed, you must choose what your car will crash into....
… the BMW, the truck, the valuable real estate....or the old street lady.
Which would you choose to sacrifice and which would you choose to save?
Now you are probably all thinking that this is a bit of silly question because what ever we hit, it would certainly not be the old lady. But why? Why choose to let her go unscathed? In what way is she more valuable than the BMW, the semi or the real estate
1. Maybe you would argue that in the woman, there was some intrinsic attractiveness. Something more than could be found in material possessions. I don’t think this is it because although some people are attractive, the lady in question is not attractive in the least. If we’d based it on attractiveness, you probably would have put the car and the property before this woman.
2. Okay, maybe another explanation would be that humans are worth more because they are productive and can create things of use and value – unlike an inanimate piece of machinery. But again, I’d have to challenge you – Yes some humans are extraordinarily productive, but there are others who are certainly not.
I heard a joke this last week about a couple of council workers. – One would dig a hole, then the other would fill it up again. They worked furiously all day without rest – without even a smoko break – that’s impressive. An onlooker was amazed at their hard work, but just couldn’t understand what was going on so after a while his curiousity got the better of him and he asked – “I can see all the hard work you are doing, but what on earth are you doing” Wiping his brow the digger replied, “Well normally we’re a three man team, but the bloke who plants the trees is sick today.”
Now this is not to say council workers are dumb or lazy – I wouldn’t be game, but the fact is that some people are just more productive than others and I’ll tell you one thing, this little old lady was not productive in the least. She probably hadn’t had a job in several decades and let’s face it, the truck could carry more cargo than her any day.