Hear some wonderful words–‘the light of your face, for you loved them…'(Psalm 44: 3). God’s loving gaze… upon us! When a graduate student at Princeton Seminary, I took a class in child development. We were studying how trust develops. Such trust begins with loving, reliable parents.
You’ll never guess what children’s song we examined? ‘Peek-a-Boo’! This was a pricey, Ivy-league graduate school?! When you play ‘Peek-a-Boo’ with an infant, you cover your face with your hands as if you’ve disappeared. Then you open your hands to reveal your smiling face saying, ‘Peek-a-Boo, I see you’! The baby laughs, and so do you!
Play this enough times, the theory says, and your child will learn to trust that the face that goes away will come back. The ‘face that will not go away’. This will get challenged a few years later when ‘separation anxiety’ sets in as parents leave for a period of time. Returning, with a loving smile, reinforces trust which has been developing since earliest days.
However, this process can be made much more difficult when trauma interferes. I know what I’m talking about. Hard for me to trust. After I accepted Jesus at age 16, there were years when I struggled to believe that He had really entered my life with salvation. Doubts were everywhere, robbing me of the joy of my newfound faith. Like playing ‘He loves me, He loves me not!’ with ‘loves me not’ prevailing.
I imagine contracting polio at age 2 didn’t help. In isolation for a protracted period of time. Never seeing my family. Where were they? No hugs, no laughter, no ‘peek-a-boo’. They were gone. I was alone in this frightening ward, covered with hot packs, constantly exercised by strangers manipulating my body. Darkness every night filled only with cries from a ward-full of stuck children.
Hard to trust when this happens. Possibly you have your own story. Can you guess what helps me now? Knowing that the Lord doesn’t hold my tough-to-trust tendency against me. He understands. My clayeyness. Your dustiness. Our human frailties. The Bible says that His is a loving face. Gracious and forgiving. With open hands to all who rush into His arms with an embrace unto a face that will not go away. Never… for all who believe in Him with even a smidgeon of mustard seed faith.
The face that will not go away. Keep saying that today. Brand these words on your heart– ‘…the light of your face, for you loved them…'(Psalm 44:3).
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for always being there. In Jesus’ name. Amen.