I have much to write to you, but I do not want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to visit you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete. 2 John 12
I keep a pretty tidy house, but you’d never know it to look at my refrigerator. Plastered with pictures, it looks a lot like this photo. Scattered amongst the pictures on my fridge, you’d also see precious, hand-made drawings from grandchildren that are simply amazing (of course no bias here!). You could spend hours perusing the collection on that refrigerator. You see, I love faces.
Human faces are truly remarkable. Each one is distinct. Even identical twins are a smidge different from each other. Our Creator God delights in variety and expresses it in the way He makes us. Thoughts and attitudes that can be hidden in texts or emails cannot be as easily hidden when we are “face to face.” I think that’s why John, in writing to his friends, states that he didn’t want to use pen and ink. He wanted to be with them, face to face.
I’ve pondered this little verse, and I identify with John. We live in a world with ever-increasing means of communication. However, like John, I don’t think anything beats actually being together and seeing the expressions in each other’s eyes. No online church service can ever really take the place of worshiping next to a Real Live Person with a face you can read and love. When we are physically present with each other, it’s a lot harder to hide. Unless we are phenomenally talented at deception, what we think shines out through our eyes, our smiles, our mannerisms. Face to face is vulnerable. Face to face is real. Face to face is good.
John writes that he hopes to visit and talk to his friends “face to face, so that our joy may be complete.” Yes. When I see my dear grandchildren who live far away, when my daughters and their husbands visit, when I spend time with my parents, my joy is complete. I love being physically with them.
Social media and communication through technology can be a huge blessing. It’s a great way to stay connected with family and friends, far and near. However, I urge you (and me) to carefully guard against spending too many hours of precious life in a virtual world. We can make ourselves look “pretty” on social media and avoid hard topics. That’s dangerous. Let’s live real, actually taking time to be physically with others, setting aside the distractions of devices and being truly face to face, getting to know them—the good and the bad together. Spending time with another human being is a gift and a joy, even if it’s also an effort.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the variety of faces in my life. Help me to make time to be physically present with the people You’ve placed in my life—in church, in my neighborhood, and in my home. Thank You, Lord, that You know my face well. You knit me together in my mama’s womb* and You have counted the hairs on my head.** Thank You that there will come a day when I will have the incredible, awesome privilege of seeing You, face to face.*** Longing for that day, Jesus! I pray in Your Great Name, Amen.
* Psalm 139:13, ** Luke 12:7, ***1 Corinthians 13:12
You are loved,
Sweet Selah Ministries
To encourage a movement away from the belief that “busy is better”
and toward the truth that stillness and knowing God matter most—
and will be reflected in more effective work and service
To offer resources and retreats that help women pause (Selah)
and love God more deeply as they know Him more intimately (Sweet)