Still reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. Just when I get lost in her poetic writing and can’t tell what she means anymore, I stumble upon a new pearl. For instance “All Eyes,” – the concept that spiritual life is a striving to become like the cherubim described in Ezechiel, who are covered with eyes. Thus, they can behold God’s glory constantly, from all the angles.
In our humanity, we don’t see God’s glory in the hard moments – the four-year-old who throws a book at mommy or the six-year-old who refuses to behave in church. We do not see God’s face in these little people who are still growing, still pushing our limits as parents, still testing our authority. But we should.
When Jacob was coming to meet with Esau, after decades of fleeing from him, he still feared Esau might harm him. And when they came face to face, Jacob said he saw God’s face when he looked at Esau. He saw God’s face while looking into the face of the one with whom he had a conflict since birth.
Esau, the one whom Jacob tricked. Esau, the one whom Jacob feared. Esau, the brother Jacob fled from for decades. Esau had the face of God, in Jacob’s mind. Do you think Jacob might have been covered in eyes? Was Jacob all eyes, a gift received after wrestling with God all night, after being hit in the sinew of the thigh – the strongest muscle in the human body? Apparently, we need to get hit in our strongest point in order to crumble before God and receive His blessing, a new name, and a new vision – all eyes.
I could not believe my eyes (no pun intended) when I saw this text, but there it is, in Genesis 33:10. Ms. Voskamp told her teenage son, who was having yet another conflict with his younger brother, and who felt happiest when there were no people around, “Wrestle with God, beg to see the blessings… and all faces become the face of God. See, son?”
And so the journey into thankfulness takes me one step further. Besides writing down 10 blessings every morning, now I have a new column in my journal: The Ugly Beautiful. The hard things in my life, the ones that grate and scrape me, the people with the thoughtless remarks, the rude and the jealous, the naughty children, they go under that heading. Dare I see God’s face in them?
Dare I say, with Job, “Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” (Job 33:10) Can I grow eyes all over me, to see God’s presence in all that I receive, good or bad?