Where are the Faces?
Psalm 127:3 "Children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward." Consider our youngest children who desire to connect with the faces of those they love most. What do faces teach a child?
Trust is found in the face. Pleasure and joy is illustrated in the face. Disappointment and sadness are found there. The sheer number of verses mentioning faces indicate that God has set a high importance on this particular feature of mankind. In Ecclesiastes we see that wisdom is in the face. Ecclesiastes 8:1 says, "Who is like the wise? And who knows the interpretation of a thing? A man's wisdom makes his face shine, and the hardness of his face is changed." God's face is mentioned numerous times. Man's face is referenced as lifted up in acknowledgement of God or cast down in the acknowledgement of sin.
No two faces are alike. Jesus the Creator seems to have set us apart to be recognized mainly by the face when we were "knit in our Mother's womb" Psalm139. Even identical twins have slight differences in their faces. With this high import of the human face, how do we absorb the requirements of face masks during this pandemic. Everywhere we go, faces are hidden.
A study in 2017 states that within the years of ages 4-7 the developmental stages of the brain that recognize the face occur. During early years of life, recognition of even a familiar face can be disturbed by a mere addition of a hat. The memory of the child for that face can be impaired .
Extrapolate that out to the hundreds of masked faces that a child encounters during this challenging time. There are teachers, family members, strangers all with hidden and distorted faces. Perhaps these multitude of masked faces will join images of clowns and monsters in nightmares.
To exempt our youngest children from viewing full facial features is concerning. Children first observe and then pattern faces of their closest family members, imprinting these familial features into their minds and mimic in their own little faces. This process is part of what we see as family resemblance. Just as children copy and seek faces, we are ever searching for the face of God. Again, the familiarity of one we love and the mimicking of who we want to represent. Many verses, as in John 1:14 "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father..." teach us see His glory and mimic as Christ-ones. Where are the faces?
God seeks our face, also. Humbly we face God as in Ezra 9:6, " ...O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to thee, my God..." In Genesis 32:30, "And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved" we see the desire to face God.
At the end of the pandemic, we pray that all faces will shine bright and bold once again for all to see Christ in us. May the little ones come to us as they come to Him and see all faces again. We pray as in Psalm 80:19 "Turn us again, O Lord God of hosts, cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved."
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