“Lord, let us see your face and we shall be saved.” – Ps. 80:4

I often wonder what it would be like to finally see God face to face. Is that too audacious of me? Would I dare to look directly at my Lord, or would I cower and say as St. Peter, “Leave me Lord for I am a sinful man.” Would I be able to absorb all that He is? Or would I just be blinded by His infinite love, goodness, and beauty?

St. Augustine once poetically addressed God as, “O Beauty ever ancient, ever new…” God in His infinite tenderness and creativity manifests His face in ways that are “ancient” and also in ways that are fresh. Knowing intimately what makes us tick, He draws us closer to Him appealing to our trigger points – perhaps it is through the soothing presence and conversation with a loved one, or reexperiencing a favorite food, song, or hobby with a renewing familiar enjoyment. Or maybe God challenges us to grow and open our eyes to unexpected places to find His face – perhaps the exhilaration of conquering a fear or being reconciled with someone who had hurt us.

Personally for me during this season of Advent and waiting, this season of suspense when I grow weary and impatient with the uncertainties of my life, where I least expect to find God because he is seemingly absent and leaves me to flounder in various aspects of my life, he is there – Emmanuel, God is with us. I focus on waiting for God, but it is He who is waiting for me. I concentrate on how I can see God throughout my day, when it is He who awaits me to be still and allow myself to be seen by Him. He wonderfully made me and wishes to see my face. So even if it is tired, teary, and cannot muster a smile, I can at least turn towards Him face to face for Him to gaze upon me, delighting in me.

Lord Jesus, give me the courage to turn towards you, beholding you beholding me.

Michael Jamnongjit