The Image on the Card


Reading Time: 2 minutes

Bible Reading: Genesis 1:26-28

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. Genesis 1:31, NIV

YOU’RE WALKING DOWN the street, minding your own business, when you hear a voice. “Psst!” the voice says. You stop and turn. A thin man in dark glasses leans against the side of a building.

“Hey, Slick,” the man says, casting furtive glances left and right. “You wanna make the smartest deal of your life?”

You start to turn and walk away, when the man hustles around in front of you and, after a quick glance up and down the sidewalk, opens one side of his coat. There, pinned to the inside of the fabric, is a row of… baseball cards.

“I got a 1953 Walt Zambrisky card for thirteen cents,” the man says.

You shake your head and try to walk around the baseball card hawker.

“OK, OK,” he says, as he backpedals up the sidewalk ahead of you. “I can tell you’re a smart customer.” He opens the coat again and points to a card. “A Bruno Gunderschmutz rookie card, mint condition, seventy-five cents.” He wags his eye­brows as if they were battery operated.

You make a move to pass him again, but he holds up both hands. “OK, OK,” he says. “You must want the good stuff.” He steals a glance over your shoulder. “My last offer. Mickey Mantle. Rookie card. One thousand smackaroonies.”

A thousand dollars? For a baseball card? Actually, yes. Some cards have sold for more than that. Sports cards have become a valuable commodity, an investment.

But what makes a Mickey Mantle rookie card worth a thousand dollars and a Bruno Gunderschmutz rookie card worth only seventy-five cents? After all, they’re both made of nothing but cardboard and ink. What’s the difference? Just one thing: the image on the card. A Mickey Mantle card bears the image of a New York Yankees slugger who broke Babe Ruth’s record for World Series home runs and was later elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. It’s not what the card is made of that makes it valuable; it’s the image that appears on the card.

It’s sort of the same way with human life. Human life is valuable because of the image every person bears. No matter how tall or how old he or she is, no matter what color his or her skin or hair, no matter what language he or she speaks, every human being is unbelievably valuable because he or she is created in God’s image. That’s true of you. It’s true of your friends and family. And it’s true of people you’ve never met, and even people you don’t really like. Their lives are precious because they’re made in God’s image.

REFLECT: Do you act like you believe your life is unbelievably precious? If so, in what ways? If not, why not? Do you act like you believe the lives of others are unbelievably precious? If so, in what ways? If not, why not?

PRAY: “God, I thank you that all human life is in your image and is valuable to you.”


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