I have an old nightgown which is something like the Wonderful One-Hoss Shay.
It (the gown) was purchased about 15 years ago — a prim, sisterly kind of night attire, 100% cotton, full-length, with short sleeves and a high neck. It is still, in a new millennium, cotton, full-length, with short sleeves and a high neck — but it is no longer prim and sisterly. Over the years it has worn out gradually, every bit of it wearing out together, none faster than another, so that the fabric has grown thinner and thinner. Although there is not a rip or tear or frayed thread anywhere, it is now almost transparent. I fancy that one morning as I get out of bed, my wonderful nightgown, still without a rip or a tear, will simply crumble into dust at my feet, leaving me scarcely more exposed than I am now when it is intact.
We are made in the image and likeness of God. Like the wonderful nightgown, our lives should grow more and more transparent, revealing to the world the image of God in us. Unfortunately, many things in our hearts and our lives prevent God’s image from being visible through us. We read in the first letter of John:
Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he [or it] is revealed, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. (1 John 3:2)
What keeps us from this kind of seeing right now? What keeps us from being like Jesus, when we are already made in the image and likeness of God?
O God, may my life be transparent so as to show forth your glory.
May nothing hinder the manifestation of your image in me —
neither fear, nor selfishness, nor ego, nor greed,
nor hatred, nor violence, nor vengeance,
nor unhealthy attachment to things not of you.
May I gaze at Jesus and grow in likeness to your Son,
that your light and love and peace may shine through me.