Reading Psalm 27 today I saw these lines: My heart says of you, “Seek his face!”
Your face, Lord, I will seek. and I was reminded of the importance of the human face in scripture. It is a symbol of intimacy because we protect it and because it so easily shows others what we want them to see about what is going on inside us; or , occasionally, what we wish they could not see but do. The face has the softest skin and yet is always exposed. It has mucosal openings all over it – entryways for foreign things – entryways we can close and open at will. Eyes open. Eyes closed. Mouth open. Mouth closed. The face senses a lot for from it we smell the world, see the world, taste the world and hear the world. A kiss on a cheek is so different than on a hand.
It occurs to me today that Jesus’ coming in the form of a human being gave God a face and I admit to wishing I could see what it looked like. And the desire to see it means that I really do believe that Jesus came to be among us and was here in physical form – was incarnate – made meat.
It means that today I will take more care to see faces. I will notice that now, Jesus shows up in them. They will smile at me. They will wink at me. Today I will visit a close and old and dear friend and his face will remind me of a long friendship well-lived and we will see our older faces and drink scotch and solve the world’s problems.
The faces we see are God’s even if sometimes horribly or slightly obscured by evils. God came to be with us – to leave the rock crevices and fire pillars and clouds in which He hid in the Hebrew scriptures – to emerge – to show his face. And in so doing to establish an intimacy which would change history and change our lives moment to moment. For unto us a face is born. Unto us a child’s face is shown to us. And that face smiles – eyes twinkling with love for us, no matter our projections.