fingerprints

Fingerprints are an imprint: someone was here, and left a mark. The mark is easily identifiable, because no one else has the same one.

The thing about God’s fingerprints is that they’re everywhere. If I truly believe in Imago Dei (which means that I am made in the image of God), if I believe this not only for myself, but my neighbors too, then God’s fingerprints are truly everywhere.

I see fingerprints in more than just the people, but the stories I hear and the stories I am living. The stories are encompassed by not only people but also the places where God dwells.

In this season of advent, in a season where we are coming to the manger, in awe of the fact that God came down to be with us, I recognize that he has been, is, and always will be, with me. The fingerprints give proof of that.

I see him on Friday mornings, the four of us at a coffee shop, two off to high school and the other two off to work. Somewhere between to-go cups of americanos or mochas or lattes, we talk about thankfulness. And I am reminded by a sophomore in high school that God loves me just as I am. Just as I am. I hear it whispered throughout the day.

On Sunday we celebrate birthdays. I frost twenty cupcakes, specifically ordered by one special eight year old (vanilla, with chocolate frosting). We eat chicken and rice and beans and spicy salsas. We sing happy birthday in Spanish and English. I tell the 8 year old’s mom “Le queremos a su familia. Gracias por la oportunidad de celebrar con uds. // We love your family. Thank you for letting us celebrate with you.” Love is extended between socioeconomic gaps and power dynamics and race and culture. And I’m standing in the divide, eating a cupcake and singing happy birthday, celebrating life. God’s fingerprint is on every part of this afternoon in the park.

And on weeknights: after a long day at work when we walk through the front door and run to our dressers to put on sweat pants. I put my hair in a high pony tail turn on the Christmas lights, then we process the day’s events – the hard conversations, the good and easy conversations, the embarrassing thing I did and the insecure thought I’m trying to get rid of. Here in this house is peace, and it is marked with God’s fingerprints.

I open the pages of Henri Nouwen and hear God saying You are beloved. It is echoed to the tiny crevices of an aching heart – a heart that so desperately needs to hear those words. The fingerprint of God rests in the books I read, the Sunday sermon that brings tears to my eyes, the moments I walk in the front door and am greeted by friends and cheese and wine.

So often my  heart beats to the rhythm of fear. But what if I trusted in the fingerprints? What if I trusted in the little marks that only God could leave, only God could be involved in?

Emmanuel: God with us. I am so thankful God decided to stand in our midst and leave his fingerprints.

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