I was recently reminded of this favorite post and thought it would be a good reminder to think about all the faces we love this Valentine’s Day! Our grandson Peter, 3, was being buckled into his car seat by his mom, Abigail, when he suddenly said, “Mom, I love your face.” The full breadth and depth of his heartfelt sentiment might have been: “You’re a wonderful mother and I’m so glad you’re mine. I love you.” But the three-year-old translation was, “I love your face.”
After smiling about this “grandparent pleaser” for awhile I realized there’s a deeper meaning there. Haven’t we all felt like Peter did at some point or another, whether we expressed it or not? We all know the thrill of running into someone we truly like, even love, but don’t see nearly often enough. We see their faces and immediately our heart leaps as our mind travels through all the memories we share. Whether it’s an old friend, a favorite teacher, or a former work colleague, it’s a treat to see them again. We may say, “You’re a sight for sore eyes!” But we really mean, “I love your face.”
Faces help us connect with those we don’t know as well also. Once I saw someone in the grocery store that I knew I recognized, but I didn’t know why I knew her. Adding to my confusion was that I immediately associated her with pain and sadness. Finally, the third time our carts crossed paths, I ventured, “I feel like I know you from someplace.” She said she felt the same way, and we began questioning one another until I realized she had been the kindest of the aides who attended my mother-in-law in assisted living before she passed away. I remembered her face because of her kindness, but I associated her with pain because it was such a difficult time for us. “God bless you,” she said as we parted, and I was glad our faces had helped us reconnect.
It’s through the faces of those we love that we get the best read on how they truly are. Just one look at your spouse’s face at the end of the day and you know how trying or victorious the day has been. And whether it’s the two-year-old ready to throw a tantrum, or the teenager thinking about a question he hopes you won’t ask—it’s all written on their faces.
The older I get, the dearer the faces I love are to me. It’s a shock to go to a high school reunion and observe that the faces I remember have gotten so old. Yet to drastically alter our faces in the losing battle against aging is to rob those who care about us of a face they love!
I hope I’ll have the courage to let my face age naturally until that day when I will see the Lord’s face “like the sun shining in all its brilliance” (Revelation 1:16). When I do, I feel sure I will tell Him, “I love your face.”