The face of God


When I saw your face, it was as the face of God smiling on me.
Genesis 33:10, The Message translation of the Holy Bible

Have you ever greeted someone with these words? Or thought something like them, when you’ve seen someone approach? You’ve probably considered some similar kind of joy when you’ve met a friend.

Have you ever greeted an enemy with these words, or with this thought in mind?

When you’ve glanced at a stranger, or had your eye caught by someone on the street, have you considered them with this graceful appraisal?

When you look at yourself in the mirror, do you think these words about yourself?

Plenty of reasons may be filling your head right now, about why you don’t – or can’t – consider these faces as the face of God. And sure, we could spend time going through all those reasons, justifying and grading and discussing and we’d have a really nice long blog for you to ponder and sift through.

But we won’t.

I’m just going to cut that list of reasons off for you, right here. I’ll cut off my own list as well, with you.

Instead of going through that list, let’s spend time considering every single person you meet – and every single person who comes to thought – as the smiling face, the expression, of God. Be disciplined! Whenever you catch yourself justifying why this person can’t be seen like that, just cut that off and start again.

Make sure you do this for yourself as well. A mirror fast may be helpful for some, but to really gain an enduring sense of love for yourself, it’s got to be deeper than just avoiding mirrors. We’ve got to see, really see ourselves, as the gift of good. And we can, because that’s who we are, no matter what justifications, reasons, or history try to speak up.

How do we see? What’s the best way to see truly? With God, good, always holding and loving us, telling us of who He is and how He is expressed. Trust Him when He tells you how good you are.

Share your stories of seeing truly in the comments. And ask your questions about seeing truly, too. I, and everyone who may read this, would love to hear from you and to see the smile of God that you are.

light shine
This photo is from Honfleur, France. This is the morning when I first truly realized that God loves me, and that is enough.

With You is the fountain of life; in Your light we see light.
Psalm 36:9 New King James Version

5 thoughts on “The face of God

  1. Thank you, John, for this lovely message! Actually, I’ve been thinking quite often when there’s a temptation to be a bit “critical” of anyone (myself included) or anything – “What does God see? What does God know about this?” It’s been a great “springboard” for prayer!

    1. Thanks for taking the time to read this post! I’m so glad you enjoyed. Yes, humbly turning to God to find out what He knows about everything – person, place, circumstance… – is so crucial to knowing and trusting Him more. I love that metaphor of the springboard! A perfect illustration of how seeing truly never leaves us in the same old place. Thank you for sharing your ideas here!

  2. I recently found your website/blog and I have enjoyed reading and pondering your posts – thank you!

    How would one see the face of God in another who is a criminal or someone who is menacing? I worked in a police department and I was constantly exposed to criminals and just plain mean people and I have to admit that I could not possibly see any of them as a child of God. I guess this would apply to all the bad guys in world as well since we seem to be bombarded by news of all wars, bombings, etc. How do we keep focused on God, Good in these types of situations?

    I don’t want to be a “Debbie Downer”, but I was thinking about this the other day and haven’t really seen any good answers – at least that I can understand….

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