Sunday morning everyone had a few minutes to look at the verse, which was printed on the puzzle, before the pieces were mixed up. Each team then designated a person who had one minute to put the pieces together to win.

The verse on the puzzle in figure 41 was about men and women being made in the image of God: “God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them” (Genesis 1:27). I liked the idea of someone’s image being bits of a puzzle you had to put together to win the game. The puzzle was placed on a curtained stage at the end of the room. I thought the stage might have the feel of an altar when I combined it with some of the other “altar” images I had accumulated.

So I photographed a little girl bending over an altar, piecing together this verse about her being made in the image of Christ, as another girl cheers her on and four adult male sentries watch, one of them keeping time. I wanted to get at some of the things that went into the process of piecing together an identity and becoming someone. A young girl learns the values adults want her to learn by playing a game that turns the learning into “fun.” She’s bent down in a submissive posture. She learns she was created in the image of Christ who, she also learns, is part man and part God. The image of Christ prescribes values, behavior, and roles, so she’s learning those too. She’s observed in this activity by the sentries, the male figures of authority. Another girl, a peer, cheers for her, encourages her, and participates in the learning process. These are concrete and real influences in the creation of her self-image, factors she must continually contend with as she grows and becomes an adult. She won’t simply decide what the real her is going to be and then become her. Other people, who have a vested interest in the result, do what they can to make her the person they want her to be.

If the stage was an altar and an altar is a place of transformation, then who was this girl