I once heard a midwife say that when a new baby is first born, if you look into his or her face, it is like looking into the face of God.
What an amazing idea!
I remember as a teenage that the Joan Osborne song "One of Us" was popular. The song began like this:
If God had a name
What would it be
And would you call it to His face
If you were faced with Him
In all His Glory
What would you ask if you had just one question?
I remember there was a lot of controversy about the song with people saying that Joan was saying that God was apart from people and also that she had compared him to a slob.
My brother Michael and I had different ideas. We felt like Joan Osborne was saying that the face of God is the face of each and everyone of our brothers and sisters. In the face of the sinner. In the face of the saint. In the face of Pope. In the face of the beggar. I remember us telling our mother about this. I remember her saying, "Wow, I never thought about it like that."
It is so easy, almost too easy I think, for mothers to see the face of God in their children. Especially when those children are young. The challenge lies in seeing the face of God in those same children when they are moody teens or difficult adults finding their way.
I thought about this while I was very tired this morning nursing the baby. Her little face was so innocent. But while God's love is innocent, God knows all of our faults and loves us all despite that.
And when we encounter someone else and see the face of God in his or her eyes, we are showing that person the face of God ourselves.
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