Imago Dei: A Poem about God and Humanity

Rainbow over ocean.
Rainbow appears in a cloudy sky, over the shore with rocks and yellow flowers in the foreground. Image is courtesy of Cleverpix via Pixabay.

Imago Dei is the story-poem I read for Children's Time on Sunday, shared here by request.


On midsummer’s eve, when the world is wrapped in magic,
all the children of the earth gather in the dreaming place.
Mysteries call louder on this night than on all other nights.
Whispers carried on ocean and mountain breezes lead
children to gather in the dreaming place.

They laugh and dance and splash in the magic surrounding them.
The moon rises higher, children quiet in the whispering winds
and ask the questions of their hearts.

One small girl stands and says,
My daddy doesn’t look like my mommy and
I don’t look like either of them.
So who does God look like?

The answers are quick and from all around.
Some of us together.
All of us.
None of us because maybe there is no God.


The winds themselves laugh and dance wildly though the gathering.
Then they speak with the voice of One.
You ask what the Holy One looks like?
Do you not know?
All of you bear my likeness.

Children wait, breath held, still.

I am the first light of morning;
I washed some of you in its soft fairness.
I am the pureness of deep night;
I wrapped some of you in this sacred darkness.
I am the fire of the setting sun;
some of you have this burning in your hair.
I am the richness of the soil—
red, brown, yellow, and black—
as are many of you.
I am the depth of the ocean;
some of you wear these greens,
blues, and grays in your eyes.
I am the warmth of the summer sun
found in all your smiles and laughter.
I am the stillness of winter snow
resting within each of you.

What does the Holy One look like?
I am all the colors of the earth.
I am the softness of early spring
and the wildness of thunder.
My reflection is in the ocean
and in your eyes.
I am the first light of day
and the last dark of night.
I am the power of the wind
and the gentleness of misty rain.

Look for me in yourselves,
each other,
and in all creation.
Do not miss the holy in the setting sun,
the purple twilight,
the darkest night,
or the brightest noonday.
Wherever you are, I am.
I am in your laughter and your tears.
I am in waking and dreaming.
If you want to know what the Holy One looks like,
you will see me wherever you turn.

The winds quiet and the skies grow lighter.
The little girl laughs
as the winds play through her hair.

The children drift away from the dreaming place.
Each takes a little of the magic of midsummer
and wakes bathed in the first light of day.

Printed in Barefoot Theology, Wipf & Stock, 2013, pg. 64-66.

About Rachael Keefe

Rev. Dr. Rachael Keefe is the pastor of Living Table United Church of Christ. She was called to Living Table in 2015 after serving in many varied ministry settings since her ordination in 1992. She holds graduate degrees from Princeton Theological Seminary and Andover Newton Seminary at Yale (formerly Andover Newton Theological School). Her ministry and leadership often center around advocacy and accessibility. Her writing has been published by Chalice Press, The Christian Century, Red Letter Christians, Working Preacher, RevGalBlogPals, and others. She is grateful to be in ministry with Living Table today.

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