Today, I saw a picture online of the back of a random little boy decorating a Christmas tree. He looked so much like my son from behind that I had to do a double take. And here is how my mind works so strangely sometimes...
As I thought about the view of my son from behind, I wondered what it would be like to never see his face again. I'm not your typical "what if-er" out of fear or anxiety toward the unknown. But sometimes I examine how I would react were I to face situations that others face on a daily basis.
I sat thinking about all the parents out there whose children have been taken from them. Kidnapping. Autism. Cancer. Death. There are so many ways to lose a child.
What if I were to lose my Aidan? Would I get an odd feeling everytime I saw another little boy that looked like him from behind? Would I begin to forget what his face looked like?
There is something very reassuring about familiar faces. My kids crack me up sometimes, when I have been in the room with them for an hour--all the while they've ignored me and as soon as I sneak away to be by myself for five minutes (I just want to go to the bathroom ALONE!)...here they come calling for Mama.
And it's never enough if I call out to them that I am there and I'm ok, I just drank a bunch of coffee...they need to see my face. Everytime, without fail, as soon as they see my face, they're good.
Have you ever been in an uncertain situation? --Your world rocked just enough to leave you feeling a little "off" for awhile afterwards. When my brother died, my initial reaction was to stay away from everyone and everything. I just wanted to "lick my wounds", so to speak.
Inevitably, people would come and pay their condolences, bring food, pray with us and also for us when we could not pray. There was something very centering about seeing certain people--key players in my past and present whose very presence alone was reassuring enough to get me through those dark days.
A familiar face can often feel like home to us. Even someone we haven't seen in a long time--once we see them, there's a moment of instant relaxation. Everything is going to be ok.
For some of us, it's a parent or grandparent. For others, a spouse or a child. Pastors, friends and neighbors are often just as much family as the ones we're born into.
But what about God?
I don't know about you, but I have never seen God's face. In Exodus 33:20, God speaks and says: "You cannot see my face; for man shall not see me and live." So, probably if you told me you had seen the face of God, I would not believe you.
If we cannot see His face, then why does He instruct us to seek it?
"When You said, 'Seek My face,' my heart said to You, 'Your face, O LORD, I shall seek.'" -Psalm 27:8.
As fun as it sounds, I can't actually believe that God is trying to engage us in a cosmic game of "peek-a-boo" for the sake of a good laugh.
We know that if we were to see His face in our earthly condition, we would die straightaway. We also know that we are to seek after His face. Is He playing a game with us? Or does He just know us too well?
My kids could care less about me while I'm in the room with them, but as soon as I am inaccessible, they NEED to see me. I can understand that it is the same with our Father.
We are ingrained with a desire to see the face of God. I don't care how you feel about God or what you believe about God...if you had the chance to see His face, you would take it and so would I.
I believe that God has put that very desire inside of us that nothing else can quite fulfill.
I could come up with a thousand good reasons and you probably could, too. But more importantly, today at least, I'm concerned not with why I'm compelled to but with whether or not I truly seek Him.
And all because of a picture of a little boy that I have nothing to do with! ;)