Seeing God’s Face in the Face of Others

I opened a blessing this morning that read, “May you always seek the face of God, and may you always be blessed with recognizing His face in the faces of your friends and loved ones.”

The blessing, while beautiful as far as it goes, seems to me to leave out the hardest part. Seeing the face of God in the faces of my friends and loved ones is often not all that challenging. To be sure, there are moments when a family member or friend does something that irritates me, in which moments I confess that God is not likely on my mind when I look at them. But generally, the love shared with such people is enough to find the presence of God there.

The reall challenge is seeing the face of God in the faces of those who we don’t label as friends, toward whom our feelings range from indifference at best to hostility or revulsion at worst. Much harder to look at the face of that person and see the face of God. Yet, that is what we are called to do – to look at each person we encounter and to see the face of God there. I think of St. Vincent, who could look at the face of the poor of Paris and see Christ. Or St. Francis, who could look at a leper and see the face of God.

So my blessing for all on this day is this: May you always seek the face of God, and may you always be blessed with recognizing His face in the faces of all those you encounter today.

Advertisement