The accumulation of our joys and sorrows are soft-sculpted into our faces. The nuances of every experience are etched in. Our face is an unfinished painting.

Our face is naked. We meet the world with it. It is what is most vulnerable about us. Often we mask it, hide it, make it up.

But in an instant these things can fall away. In a small awkwardness, in the presence of a child, through a note from a friend, through the kindness of stranger, or the moment the sky turns vermilion, our face will give us away.

A face I love from Edmonton’s inner-city
smiling man with red hat

I wonder…and think…

…perhaps the face has something to do with the popularity of poker. We humans have a great interest in face reading. More than an interest really, maybe an instinct for it.

…about the woman in France that recently received the world’s first face transplant. How will this woman’s identity be altered?

…about Jacob saying to the forgiving Esau, "…truly, to see your face is like seeing the face of God."

…about David’s prayer: Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.

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  1. “When we see Him face to face we will become like Him for we shall see Him as He is.”

    The beatific vision is a powerful mechanism of transformation and transcendence.

    Perhaps we have forgotten too much medievil wisdom.

    Give me Brother Lawrence (or Brother Steve) over brer Copeland or brer Popov any day.

  2. I love watching Texas hold’em poker on TV. I am a social recluse, can’t you tell.

    The facial and body expressions and the verbal banter between players is a revelation of personality and social interactions on a high level.

    I have a particular liking for Gus Hansen. He is known for having such an animated style that no one can decipher what his facial contortions mean. He is hiding his emotions in plain sight and no one can see him. (Although I think he has been read better over the past year and his winnings are down and his face is not as boisterous.)

  3. Elyse, you ask a truly difficult and heart rending question. And I don’t know the answer except to say that we need at least a sliver of acceptance, from somewhere, from some person, if we are ever going begin the arduous journey of self-acceptance. Self-acceptance is hard enough even having a reasonable amount of other-acceptance.

    Blossoms to you Elyse, Steve (growmercy)

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