Thumbprints and Handprints

The Lord made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Psalm 100:3

Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people. 1 Peter 2:10

This lovely columbine flower was growing in the front yard garden of a house in Anchorage, Alaska.

This lovely columbine flower was growing in the front yard garden of a house in Anchorage, Alaska.

Photographers who are serious about their craft will develop a style. Look at a photo by Ansel Adams, and you see the beautiful use of black and white tones. Avedon was noted for his fashion photography. Dorothea Lange captured powerfully-moving images of depression-era families. They each put their thumbprint on their work. All these – whether they know it or not, and whether or not they acknowledge God – echo the creative nature of God.

God’s work is even more recognizable than the most famous photographer or painter. Who but God can create a flower? The vision of the Milky Way Galaxy gives witness to the majesty of God’s being. God’s handprints are all over the created world and order. And when it comes to man, God shapes and forms from dust a being so unique that he leaves not just a handprint; he puts his thumbprint on man and woman, breathing into them the breath of life. We people are God’s creation. We belong to him. He created us. He cares for us.

This is doubly true in regard to our relationship with God, for God not only created us, he redeemed us from the eternally bad consequences of sin, iniquity and transgression. For our rebellion put us outside the pale of God’s family, and destroyed our identity as his people. Our sin, rebellion, iniquity, and transgressions did not, however, put us outside the scope of God’s love and grace. He reached out to us in his Son, and sacrificed him in our place, and exalted him as the perfect expression of loving faithfulness, and now the source of our redemption and righteousness. God’s thumbprint on us has been restored, and added to that is the nail-scarred handprint of God’s salvation.

We are God’s people twice over. Once by means of his creation, and secondly by means of his redemption. He made us, and he redeemed us. God’s handiwork is all over us: thumbprints and nail-scarred handprints too.

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