I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful; I know that full well. ( Psalm 139: 14)
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (Genesis 1: 26-27)
I spend a lot of time on Zoom. Much more time than I’d like. Most days I have 2 or three Zoom calls that range in length from 45 minutes to 3 hours. The three hour Zoom calls are brutal. I’m always so tired after I am done that, I feel like I worked two 16-hour days back-to-back.
“Zoom fatigue” is something a lot of Ministry Personnel complain about. Frankly, we complained about meeting fatigue before the pandemic so I’m not sure whether we all just shifted our focus! But complain we do – and pretty much universally, we all complain about how tiring this mode of communication is.
Now to be sure, I’m grateful for Zoom. I’m really grateful that I have some way to continue doing my job and continue staying in contact with the people I care about. This morning on the Bethel Zoom Prayer and Share, we heard about one of us having the opportunity to Zoom with children and grandchildren from the Ottawa Heart Institute, after just having had three stents put in. Now that’s a story of the gloriousness of Zoom.
So, I’m grateful. But I’m also tired.
One of the things that I’m tired of is seeing myself on the screen all of the time. I know that I can ‘hide self view’ and not look at myself, but there’s something that compels me to keep my camera on. Then I catch glimpses of myself, and mostly I don’t like what I see. Why does my hair do that weird flipping thing on my forehead? When did I get such jowls and a double chin? Where did all the wrinkles come from? I discovered that depending on where I place my computer I could all of a sudden look 20 years younger and 20 pounds lighter. But that camera angle is weird on my computer and I can’t use the keyboard when I do that.
Because you see – I’m invested in looking good. Or at least what I think looks better. I’m invested in appearing younger and thinner and somehow better dressed than I am. I’m invested in looking like one of the women peering from the magazines on the newsstands, in all of their airbrushed and plasticized glory.
But here’s the truth – no amount of camera angles or light angles or ‘smoke and mirrors’ take away from the reality that:
I am who I am.
I am EXACTLY as God created me to be in this time and in this place. Not only that – but THIS creation is the image of God.
I am the image of God. Complete with my weird joints and thickening belly and jowly chins. I am the image of God no matter if the camera angle is flattering and the light is perfect. I am the image of God whether or not I look ‘good’ to myself or to other random strangers.
So, I’m thinking that the issue actually is whether or not I can internalize this truth. I think, that’s a universal thing – or at least its something that those of you who talk to me say!
So, the next time you are gazing at a Zoom screen and trying to surreptitiously fix your hair or change the camera angle, remind yourself of this: You are who you are. Exactly as God created, and exactly in God’s image.
Blessings and remember you are Loved,