Lately, I’ve realized that I need a new headshot photo for my Facebook page and to go with my Grace Notes column.
The photos I’ve been using are old. The problem is, so is my face.
I keep waiting for it to get younger before I ask the photographer to take my picture.
Sometimes when I look in the mirror, I’ll take my fingers and gently push the skin on my face upward toward my ears to make the creases around my mouth disappear.
But then I eventually have to let go of my face and watch it return to its current saggy state.
And then I’ll wonder, “When did my eyes get smaller? And where did my chin go?”
In my mind, I don’t look like what I really look like. In my mind, my skin is smooth and clear and doesn’t sag, and you can see my eyes.
In my mind, I want my old face back and not the old face in the mirror.
There’s a book on my bookshelf called “Grace for the Moment” by Max Lucado, a book of short readings for each day of the year.
The July 3 reading is “God Changes Our Face.”
Thank you, Jesus.
The reading is about how God invites us to see his face so that he can change ours, and how he uses our regular, imperfect faces to display his glory.
Lucado writes, “He loves to change the faces of his children. By his fingers, wrinkles of worry are rubbed away. Shadows of shame and doubt become portraits of grace and trust.
“He relaxes clenched jaws and smoothes furrowed brows. His touch can remove the bags of exhaustion from beneath the eyes and turn tears of despair into tears of peace.”
Lucado says God does that through our worship. God gives his face and we respond with thanksgiving and praise, which changes us.
There’s a number of references in the Bible about the face of God. My favorite: “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace” (Numbers 6:24-26).
God shines his face upon his people. He looks down from heaven, singles us out individually and smiles on us, and his smile, his gracious smiling face, gives us peace.
When God does that, when he pours out his grace and we’re caught up in his beauty and the wonder of his smile for us and that he takes notice of you and of me with pleasure and delight, it should show on our face.
If it doesn’t, then we haven’t truly worshiped.
One of the first Bible verses that ever grabbed my full attention is Psalm 27:8 where the psalmist says to God, “When you said, ‘Seek my face,’ my heart said of you, ‘Your face, Lord, I will seek.’”
It’s a command and a heart request.
God tells us to seek his face, but he also offers it to us.
The Father lifts his face to you and to me, gives us his peace, guards our hearts and minds, keeps us from fear.
In worship, we respond, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.”
Even through saggy skin and droopy eyelids, we reflect his beauty.
He changes our faces because he gives us his.
And I still need a new photo.
Nancy Kennedy can be reached at 352-564-2927 or by email at email@example.com.