I am created in the image of God: Do you see me? As the euphoria of the Papal held, there was the ecclesial global event called, “The World Meeting of Families” holding in Philadelphia. This reflection flows from the event of a group that gathered in Philadelphia at the same time using the model of Pope Francis Joy of the Gospel, to make a difference. It was the “People Improving Communities through Organizing” convention (PICO) which included what I chose to call a “holy demonstration.” The theme became palpable when we stood in front of the Federal Prison and Detention facility in downtown Philadelphia. As we prayed, we could hear inmates tapping on the narrow coasted windows, from which they could see passersby’s without being seen. Suddenly we started chanting “We see you, we see you. . . . .” Physically we were not seeing them but that gesture raised a deep thought in me of what happens in our society and the validity of our reflection theme. So much of the plagues of our society arise from the inability to see others as created in the image of God. We have erected walls and coated windows everywhere making it impossible for the ordinary passerby to see what happens inside. And without the ability to see, people may not be able to know what to say, good or bad, whether in Philadelphia or anywhere else. In the same vein there are the other forms of walls of discrimination erected among us making it impossible for us to see those held behind them leading to our individual and collective silences. The walls could be those of race, sex, class, color, religion, nationality, language, etc. There are also the various struggles that put people in the different camps against each other, based on political and ideological affinities, cultural and occult appeal, etc. These cause us to fight and kill each other; they are possible to be behind the different forms of migration whether trans-border or trans-city-lines; and they can even be found in some moving from one church community to another. If only we can see the image of God in each other we will know that any harm done to another is a harm done to the self and to all. The Bible tells us that nobody hates his body but nourishes and cherishes it (Ephesians 5, 29). Without seeing the inmates due to the coated windows and high walls people pass by daily without realizing that a part of them is shut-out. It is very possible that some of the inmates are paying for their crimes; yet we know also that there are miscarried judgments. However, the important thing from that experience is the awakening that unless we are able to see, we may not be able to act neither are we able to seek mercy or justice on behalf of the other. To desire to see is counter-cultural in our society today because we do not want to say or do anything that will make another angry. Therefore, we have descended from being our brother’s keepers to be our brother’s killers or banishers. We now live the Cain- syndrome forgetting that God always comes to ask, “Where is your brother? We may not be able to do magic, but we are called to see, and to act with what we have. And if the experience of Peter and John at the beautiful gate is instructive (Acts 3, 6), we can accomplish much with the Mighty Name of Jesus. Do you see me? Uju Okeahialam (September 30, 2015)

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