image bearers: a tribute

Written by Seth Haines for John Blase with amazing images by Mike Rusch and inspired by Topher Moore, Scott Herron, Josh Arkins, and “Doc” Kaler.

We were made in the image of God.

When I saw Topher create the cosmos with his fly line, that infinite unfurling of baited possibility, my soul sang How Great Thou Art. Before his first cast, before the line was unspooled and zipped across the surface of the slightly gurgling waters there was only hope. Hope that his act of creation, small as it was, would produce peace and joy. Hope that the tiniest of sparks, that imperceptible tinsel and hackled hook would dance, luring life from the depths, luring beauty from nothing. Hope that creation, the brother of art, would become the precursor to foreordination, and foreordination the forerunner to mercy. When the act of creation was complete, when the line finally fell to rest on surface tension, Topher’s face exploded with the image of God.

And it was good.

Scott’s rod arched and quivered, a mono-chromed rainbow of the promise of life. The promise broke the surface in a split second, harnessing the power to shoot its full length into broad daylight, flashing brilliant specks of red as it saw the splendor and awe of the heavens. It was no coincidence, the strain of fin and gill against that arc. In fact, that fight is natural. We are not so different. Promises can be so painful, even the spiritual ones, like the time I read that in this world I will have trouble. But Scott was patient, not straining too hard at the rod for fear of losing his catch to the open water. Played into his hands, Scott knelt to release his prize–the Trout resting in awe of something bigger than itself–and he promised that he’d never flood the fish’s world with air again.

And it was good.

We were made in the image of God, an endless unfurling of baited possibilities, participants in an eternally physical metaphor. He is in our work if we are still enough to know. He is in the work of those around us if we will stop, watch, and listen. He has chosen us to bear the marks of his creation, the possibility of his reconciliation. And as we stagger in the malted goodness of the ultimate realization that he has buried his image inescapably in the very works of our hands, we find that

He is so good.

About me


Kelly Langner Sauer
Reply June 15, 2010

The images with this article are so amazing. This is good too, Seth.

    Reply June 17, 2010

    Dear Kelly Langner Sauer,

    There are many reasons to like the gent Mike Rusch. His pictures barely scratch the surface.

    Thanks for the comments. I'll pass your words along to Mike.

Robin ~ Pensieve
Reply June 15, 2010

I think everyone who reads this will concur (and want to comment the same line...) ~

This IS good.

Gosh, Seth, I forgot you can write! Fly fishing is so much more than rod & capture. It's feast for the soul.

    Reply June 17, 2010

    Dear Robin ~ Pensieve,

    You're too kind... and that's why you're good people. By the way, folks, go read Robin right about wild things. Her blog is where they are.

Reply June 15, 2010

'malted goodness'...and as always, a river runs through it...


    Reply June 17, 2010

    Dear Juan,

    "My father was very sure about certain matters pertaining to the universe. To him, all good things - trout as well as eternal salvation - come by grace and grace comes by art and art does not come easy." -- Norman Maclean

    You found your easter egg, I see.

Reply June 15, 2010

Brotha...what a blessing to me this morning. Thanks for not spoiling it on the ride to the fish, this was worth the wait.

Reply June 15, 2010

And we read it and said, "It is VERY good"

Reply June 15, 2010

I had to write to say thanks. It's so refreshing to come and read and hear God in your words. I'm in a literature class right now and most of what we're reading doesn't speak of God or reflect Him and it's rather painful. Yes, the I will have trouble part. Thanks for the reminder that He has chosen us and He is so good. We are where we are for a purpose.

Ann Kroeker
Reply June 18, 2010

Poetry in word and image.

Thank you for these gifts.

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