Excerpt from Psalm 27:7-14
“Your face, Lord, do I seek. Do not hide your face from me.”
Reflection by Quinn G. Caldwell
The most beautiful part of the church I grew up in was the great Christ Window over the rear balcony. Kindly face, outstretched arms, glowing flowing robes: to me, this window had it, and said it, all.
There was only one problem with the Christ Window: nighttime. Each evening, as the light began to fade, so would Jesus’ face. Of course all stained-glass windows fade as the light behind them does, but I’m telling you that that face disappeared a good half hour before the rest of him did, leaving behind a black hole surrounded by glowing white robes: Dementor Jesus. It was terrifying.
As I got older, I stopped being creeped out by that window, and actually came to appreciate the transformation, for it’s a pretty good symbol of how I understand him—or don’t. Some days, the light streams through and I can see, clear as day, who he is: Glowing Jesus, Open Arms Jesus, Forgiving Jesus, Come-Unto-Me-My-Yoke-Is-Easy Jesus. Other times, it’s like the sun has gone down early. His face disappears. I lose track of who he is. What kind of savior says things like, “I have come not to bring peace but a sword”? What kind of friend is forever calling me “Ye of little faith” and “viper”? What kind of God promises to come back soon and then stays away for a couple of thousand years—and has he stayed away, or am I just missing something?
Lord, don’t hide your face from me. Reveal yourself, and give me the grace to reveal you to the world. Amen.
About the Author
Quinn G. Caldwell is Associate Minister of Old South Church in Boston, Massachusetts.
Live simply. Love generously.
Care deeply. Speak kindly.
Leave the rest to God.
“The Lord sets the prisoners free; the Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous. The Lord watches over the strangers; [the Lord] upholds the orphan and the widow.”
– Psalm 146:7-9
“I trace the rainbow through the rain and see the promise is not in vain.”
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