There’s something I’ve really been missing in this latest round of COVID limitations – faces. Human faces. Bright, exuberant student faces. Thoughtful, caring staff faces. Faces of people who serve me coffee in a café.
I never quite realised how important faces are. Full faces. By them we read people’s moods, what sort of day they’re having, even what sort of life they’ve lived. If the “eyes are the window to the soul” I am finding that they rely on the nose and the smile as well. It's largely the face that reveals personality.
The Bible has over 300 references to the face, many of them to the face of God: The writer of the Psalms says, “Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your unfailing love”. God shows God’s ‘face’ to us. As Victor Hugo wrote in Les Miserables, “To love another person is to see the face of God”.
Now all our faces are shrouded like we’re living on some half-alien planet.
When you’re next ‘mask-off', in front of the mirror, take a moment to appreciate a full human face. Yours. There’s none like it.
Maybe I always took people’s faces too much for granted. I won’t anymore.
Rev Phil Hoffmann