Last week I watched a programme about the styling of houses and flats in London for the super-rich.
Some of them were what I think they called ‘turn key’ properties. All the purchaser has to do is open the door, because each home comes with fitments, furniture, artworks and books, the lot.
Everything oozed quality and looked, in some cases, lovely; in others – well, let’s just say it wasn’t my taste.
But something disturbed me a lot about the programme. It was when the stylist hinted that collections of books and paintings were included to make the occupants feel that they are well-read and had intellectual tastes.
In effect, they were being sold an image of themselves. It wasn’t to impress other people, though this is sad enough, it was to make the occupants themselves feel they were someone they were not.
None of us, no matter how rich or poor we might be, how gifted or how ordinary, how beautiful or how ugly needs to create an image to feel good about ourselves.
Each of us is unique and here because God wants us to be here. He loves us, every last one of us, no matter what we do.
This is not to say that how we live doesn’t matter: God has a purpose for each of us and it’s up to us, with his help, to carry out that purpose. But we can’t doubt God’s love: he came and lived, as Jesus, with human beings and as an ordinary person. And he loves the people he lived among, and us, so much that he allowed us to inflict a horribly painful death on him in order to show us the extent of that love.
What did Jesus do as he was being crucified?
He forgave: there and then, though in terrible agony, he forgave the people who were killing him. How much more loving can you get?
How much more love can we want?
If we’re here because the all-powerful, all-knowing and all-loving maker of the universe wants us and loves us just as we are, we don’t need to create an image to make ourselves feel we’re someone we’re not.
We’re fine just as we are!