Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Let's Face It

Faces are important. That is how we recognise each other. Many of us have difficulty in remembering names, but if, like me, you don’t always remember faces then you have a problem.

As each snow flake is different, so is each face. If we all looked alike, how difficult life would be – and yet, I wonder how many of us are satisfied with the face we have been given?

I don’t know if it is only the women who are always trying to improve their appearance. Often it seems the more beautiful they are the more money they spend on trying to add to it with various cosmetics or even on having a face lift.

I know of two, to me, very lovely ladies, who, as children were teased and bullied into thinking they were ugly. And yet beauty, at best, is fleeting.

Have you ever heard, ‘Pretty in cradle, plain at table,’ and the opposite? Those who appear plain as children often grow into the greatest beauties, and vice versa.

Horrified at seeing the ‘mug-shot’ I had taken for my passport, I wondered whether some make-up would help. I began to laugh. In my eighties, was I still hoping to be pretty? In the end I decided it was best not to draw attention to my visage.

I think God wants us to think more about the beauty of our inner man. If we are Christians then we should want to be like Jesus. It says of him, that his face was so marred that there was no beauty about him at all, and we know this prophecy was fulfilled when he underwent the agony of scourging and crucifixion.
And yet now he is lighting up the courts of heaven with his radiant beauty.

I once met a woman who was so vivacious, full of fun, she lit up the room, and yet her face had been terribly disfigured by a fire.

I’m sure we all have deep respect for Simon Weston, survivor of the Falklands War,  his face beyond recognition because of the terrible burns he sustained. He could so easily have stayed in a corner, unable to meet people, grieving for the handsome athlete he once was, but instead he is listed as an inspirational speaker, often appearing on television.

A pleasing adornment is the natural glow of good health, but even when health is gone we can still have that inward adornment that Peter speaks of, of a meek and quiet spirit.

David Spurdle, director of the charity ‘Stand by Me,’ received a letter from a little girl rescued from a terrible life of poverty and abuse. She wrote, ‘God is good looking.’ She knew what God was like from the faces of those who cared for her, in Jesus’s name. She saw the beauty of the Lord in their faces.

Her letter continues, ‘God loves the children, because they are beautiful  like him.’ 

So yes, let’s make the best of the face God has given us, but let’s enjoy the wonderful relationship that Moses had, in being able to talk face to face with God. After all, Jesus experienced the terrible pain of having his Father turn his face away from him, that we might be able to enter in and live day by day in God’s presence. David prayed, May the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us.

May we all have the confidence of that little girl, that we are beautiful to our heavenly Father.

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