About Face (Truth/Beauty part 1)
If the eyes are the "windows to the soul", is the mouth the doorway? And maybe the ears dual chimneys... If this makes you angry, smoke would necessarily emit from those two places.
"The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the Lord hath made even both of them." (Proverbs 20:12)
When you look at yourself in the mirror, what do you see? What do you feel? Are you pleased with your appearance? Y'know, it's God who made you to look the way you do. Our face is a reflection of God's creative ability. Sure, there's genetics and plastic surgery and innumerable other factors that make up our appearance. But all of it is built upon the foundation God gave you when He thought you up. You might be a spirit, but you live in a body. And so much is communicated by the face alone. That's one of the definitions of physiognomy, by the way: determining one's character and personality from one's facial features.
"God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause His face to shine upon us; Selah." (Psalm 67:1)
"For the righteous Lord loveth righteousness; His countenance doth behold the upright." (Psalm 11:7)
Another word for face is countenance. It's more detailed, a fuller definition than "face", however. David said that God was "the health of my countenance" (Psalm 42:11). Could this mean that God is the one shining through David's face? It certainly worked with Moses. After receiving the Ten Commandments from God on Mount Sinai, Moses had so soaked in the His presence that "his face shone while he talked with him". (Exodus 34:29) So much so, that "when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses...they were afraid to come nigh him." (verse 30)
"And wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man's heart." (Psalm 104:15, emphasis mine)
Think of the sweetness and sincerity in a child's face. Winsome, gentle, unassuming. The purity of God's character shines through as they have nothing to hide. They're transparent. Somehow, as we grow older and age, we lose that innocence when we begin harboring selfishness and begin to...want to see ourselves first. When we look in the mirror and all we see is ourself, then that's all others will see, as well. That's how it works. Who do you want people to see when they look at you? Conversely, who do you want looking at the world through your eyes? God wants to reveal Himself to the world through us. And it starts with that inner vision. "Blessed are the pure in heart" says Jesus in Matthew's Gospel (5:8, emphasis mine), "for they shall see God." He's speaking of that inner vision of God. Something that gets clouded over without proper maintenance. Without gratitude, worship, praise. The things of inner beauty.
"Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in Heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in Heaven." (Matthew 18:10)
The myth of Narcissus speaks of a young man, very handsome, who wasted away and died from seeing his reflection in the water and not wanting to leave the sight of such beauty. Contrast this with Jesus, who, it says in Isaiah (53:2), "hath no form nor comeliness (attractiveness); and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him." Jesus was beaten so badly prior to His crucifixion, that He was nigh unrecognizable. "His visage was so marred more than any man" (Isaiah 52:14). While Jesus may have been a horrifying sight to behold, bearing our sins on the cross of Calvary, His inner beauty remained—and remains to this day. The reason why it says that we wouldn't desire Him in this state—of grotesque deformity, of bloody, raw suffering—is because that's what we looked like on the inside, spiritually, because of sin. The sin that He bore on the cross and left in the grave when He rose from the dead. Look at Him now:
"And He had in His right hand seven stars: and out of His mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and His countenance was as the sun shineth in His strength." (Revelation 1:16) John (who wrote Revelation) was His closest disciple. Even He didn't recognize Jesus in His glory when he saw Him on Patmos.
"One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the House of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in His temple." (Psalm 27:4)
Keep your face to the Son.