Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Dearest Face

There are times in my life—and I hope in yours—when I have experienced a certain jolt of joy: that of spotting an especially beloved face from far away. Perhaps the person is in a crowd, or at a distance. Maybe they’re in a choir, or a marching band, or simply in a photo, but the sight of that dear, dear face puts a smile on yours.

I saw this happen to my infant daughter when she spotted her Granny’s face in a mirror. It happened to me when I saw each of my daughters in their respective college choirs. Seeing my husband at a podium giving a speech gave me the same feeling. A few months ago, I found an old photo where my late daddy’s contagious smile shone out from among a group of soldiers. There’s a sense of blessing that stirs in your heart and a thankfulness for the very existence of that person. I pray that most of you readers have had that particular experience.

For quite some time now (and I promise this isn’t a change of subject), I’ve been reading a “Through the Entire Bible in Two Years” book (not the actual title). It has selections from Old and New Testaments in fairly digestible hunks, not necessarily in order, along with short prayers and study suggestions for each day. I really like this book. I am ashamed to admit that while I’m fairly well-acquainted with the Word, I haven’t actually gone through the entire Book, word by word. Recently, this book has led me into a place in Scripture I had heretofore found unintelligible, even frightening: Revelation.

To my surprise, as the days go by, I’ve become enthralled with St. John’s exciting description of the events to come in the End Times. Is it allegory or actual? To me, it rings true. A great deal of the Bible is beyond my ken, but one can read it over and over and find new insights each time. This time, it’s like watching a wonderful movie, with fearsome special effects. In the midst of these images is “One Who is like a son of man,” with hair “white like wool” and eyes “like blazing fire.” Feet like “bronze glowing in a fire” and a voice “like the sound of rushing waters.” “His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.”

St John continues his description and includes amazing beasts and terrible and certain justice for those who have defied God and persecuted His people. My eyes were wide as I read, imagining these scenes, and there was a sense of fear in my heart—an awestruck fear—but along with that was another feeling, a familiar feeling that surprised me began to grow. In the middle of all the fear and wild catastrophe, I saw a dear, dear face, one that lifted my heart and gave me joy.

In the middle of it all, in my mind’s eye, I could see my Friend. The fearful “One Who is like a son of man” is also The One who loves me more than anybody else does. The One who gave his life for me, and Who rises with me every morning, walks with me every day, and listens as I pour out my heart.

Jesus was there! And He saw me! And we smiled at each other. And I knew everything would be all right. Even unto the end of the earth.


  1. Amen! Wonderful thoughts, Ellen. I find myself thinking of heaven more and more as I age. And I must admit that even though I know I have much more to do in this life God has given me, I am yearning to go home. (S)

  2. Wonderful post, Ellen. I know that "dear face" feeling very well. I think we all—as Christians—have a vision of Heaven and Jesus with outstretched hands waiting for us, with all those dear faces that have gone before.

    I'd be curious to know the real title of that 2-year Bible book you're reading. Would you mind sending the title to me via email at peg at peggyblannphifer dot com.