Tuesday, November 2, 2010

On Bearing Faces

I think I must have had a nose complex as a child. I spent too many of my waking hours pinching it, hoping it would "grow" a little higher.

When I was teaching in the juvenile justice facilities, my favorite way to break the ice was to show the girls a trick.

I showed them how I can touch both my eyes at the same time, with a pen across my face.

Now, you have to know that these are some intimidating girls. They've seen too much in their short lives to be easily impressed. But there they were -- a bunch of young criminals with pens across their faces, baffled that they can't do this simple trick. "How can anyone's nose could be so flat?!" they exclaimed. Sometimes, I would even get a few laughs.

At least this nose is good for something.

Confession. I almost immediately checked Emeth's nose when he was placed in my arms. I wasn't even really thinking about it, but I remember looking. When we called my sister Catherine to tell her the good news, the first question she asked: "so, whose nose did he get?" I found it tragic that she knew I cared.

But yes, he did. Emeth did get my nose. And so did Yohanan.

Hans thinks it's cute, but he is my husband.

Genetic inheritance is quite a fascinating, delightful thing. People naturally look for resemblances between parents and children. They love to give their (very strong) opinions about who the children look like -- more like mommy or daddy? Grandpa or grandma? I know I enjoy seeing my friends' faces in their children. I love seeing my beloved's likeness in our sons.

As I watch the boys sleep, I force my mind to contemplate this truth: In much deeper ways, my children resemble their Creator.

This baffles me. These little people that I cradle with their runny noses, yummy cheeks, teary eyes -- look like God.

He made them,
in his likeness.
They bear his face.

Long ago, a group of petty men asked Jesus whether they should pay taxes. Jesus asked to see a coin. "Whose image is this?" he asked. "Caesar's," they answered. Then he said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.” He was telling them to give up much more than just taxes here.

Soul, you are a creature,
He made you,
in his likeness.
You bear his face.


Jean Tsen said...

thank you.....
SO soul-feeding. my soul is full now. :)

E! said...


YeeLing said...

aw wow i never thought of that before.. about that passage. wah wah @_@ i'm full now too! :) both tummy and soul. hurhur

and i do like their noses :] i think they're cute! but i guess i'm your sister, and i'm a little narcissistic :P

yummy cheeks :D

Seda said...

hi dainty-nose-sisters!
we are cool!
quoting E! -- we are :o) not :^)

Kevin Chen said...

fo sho! the passage reminds me to give my time up to Him!

irene i didnt know you had a blog!!

Seda said...

hi, Kevin. =)

Jean Tsen said...

eyes happened upon the line, "At least this nose is good for something" as i scrolled up and i lol-ed.

Jill said...

Really enjoy the way you put daily trivials into your soul searching. Btw, I think your nose is cute. No, I'm not polite, and no, I am not your sister. :D

estherogen said...

Thank you. I like your face. I like faces. He sets his face on us.

Watch the "still face experiment" and weep.

estherogen said...

Thank you. I like your face. I like faces. He sets his face on us.

Watch the "still face experiment" and weep.