"Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in HIS wonderful face,
and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, by the light of His glory and grace."
~ Helen Limmel ~
She was a slim young woman with her hair pulled severely back into a tight bun. Her clothes were typical for the early 1900s time period - a dark colored dress with long sleeves and high neckline, the hem just touching the tops of her high black shoes.
What struck me most in this photo of my grandmother was her somber face. I knew her as a vibrant woman full of energy and fun, her face often wrinkling with laugh lines. But here she was, staring back at me so seriously. It just didn't seem to fit her personality.
Religious art from that same time period reflects a similar lack of joy - pictures of Christ staring at me with such a somber soulful expression, it makes me cringe. You see, I need to walk and talk with a God Who smiles.
I don't want to feel like He is upset with me or that I am lacking something in His presence whenever I look at some artist's perception of Him. All my dad had to do was give me "that look" of disapproval and I would turn into a spineless jellyfish, simpering and trying to do whatever he wanted. I DON'T NEED to envision my friend Jesus like that!
Some of my favorite pictures of Him are the more recent ones with the children. His hair is windblown and he is laughing with them, hugging them and smiling at them. When I look full into His wonderful face in prayer or worship. this is how I see Him - joyful, vibrant and loving. What comfort that image of Him brings to my care-worn soul.
When I see Him smiling, I smile back - not only at Him, but at everyone I meet. It's like the joy cannot be contained inside and has to spill out through a smile, a chuckle or a song. The pain of life's difficulties seems to fade away in the light of His glorious, gracious smile and I can rest in His presence, knowing I am loved.
For more thoughts on Walking with a God who smiles, check out my blog on Thursday, September 27, 2007.
If you would like to join us today, visit I Will Take it Lord, All You Have To Give to read her take on the quote and to leave your link along with the other participants.