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Van Gogh once remarked, “I prefer painting people’s eyes to cathedrals, for there is something in the eyes that is not in the cathedral, however solemn and imposing the latter may be – a human soul, be it that of a poor beggar or of a street walker, is more interesting to me.”

We shouldn’t be surprised by this. Even if we habitually “go to church” (or to a mountain, a monastery, or seminary) in order to find God and feel close to him, we should know better than to confuse what exactly the Spirit has promised to inhabit. Certainly God reveals himself through these instruments, but we’ve been told quite clearly that the only things created in God’s image are people. While the primary meaning of this phrase refers to our calling as humans to rule on God’s behalf, surely it includes the residual truth that it is through one another, among other means, that God encounters us.