“Your face, Lord, do I seek. Do not hide your face from me.”
Excerpt from Psalm 27:7-14
The most beautiful part of my home church, Mayodan Methodist Church, was the great Christ Window over the altar. Oh, it was a captivating picture of Jesus. Kindly face, outstretched arms, glowing flowing robes: to me, this window had it all and said it all. It probably helped to form some of my earlier understandings of who Jesus was and what He was about.
There was only one problem with the Christ Window: nighttime. Each evening, as the light began to fade, Jesus’ face would also fade. Of course, all stained-glass windows fade as the light behind them does. In this window, as the light faded, the face disappeared. And this would happen a good half hour before the rest of him disappeared, leaving behind a black hole surrounded by glowing white robes. Early on it was spooky.
As I got older, I stopped wondering about that window, and actually came to appreciate the transformation. At last I began to see this picture (face and all) as a pretty good symbol of how I understand Jesus—or don’t. Some days, the light streams through and I can see, clear as day, who He is: Glowing Jesus, Open Arms Jesus, Forgiving Jesus, Come-Unto-Me-My-Yoke-Is-Easy Jesus.
Other times, it’s like the sun has gone down early. His face disappears. I lose track of who He is. What kind of Savior says things like, “I have come not to bring peace but a sword”? What kind of Friend is forever calling me “Ye of little faith” and “viper”? What kind of God promises to come back soon and then stays away for a couple of thousand years—and has He stayed away, or am I just missing something?
The truth is that His face, his presence, is always there with us… even when we cannot see the face. The problem is our seeing not his presence. Remember He is always with us… and will never abandon us… NEVER!
Lord, I know you don’t hide your face from us… but sometimes our seeing is dim. Continue to reveal yourself and give us the grace to reveal you to the world. Amen.
Grace and Peace