Have you ever had a young child, grandchild, niece or nephew, sit on your knee and unashamedly, closely inspect your face, kneading you like a piece of play dough? This is written for you.

Suppose I’m on fire with rage, smouldering with resentment, awash with satisfaction, bubbling with hap-hap- happiness or just horizontally laid back, floating above all emotions.

How much of it can I stop from showing on my face?

St Paul said we could reflect God’s glory on our face–even better than Moses did. (2 Corinthians ch 3 v 12-18). Perhaps he was speaking figuratively at least in part. But a lifetime of resentment and frustration can surely leave it’s real marks on people’s faces. There are unfortunately such things as habitual expressions. Perhaps a lifetime of the fruit of the Spirit can show as well.

What, despite all our efforts at pretence, do our faces say to those judges which are more difficult to fool than most others–the eyes of a child.

Read this slowly and you need to read it out loud:

Face Time

Your infant eyes, diamond bright,
Steel grey, ice white
Gifts of grace,
Set in the soft perfection
Of a cherub’s face,
Innocent, intense, intent,
Orbiting in-close, planet Grandpa’s Head,
Mesmerised they scrutinise
The landscape of my face.
Are there signals for your guidance,
Any words from my story
That read themselves to you
Unwitting reader, through your survey,
And despite my silence?
What have I laid down in my geology?
A fissured perma-frown of discontent,
Or smooth plains of sweet apology?
What has been the chief creator
Of my surface?
What, the dominator,
Flesh’s fires’ volcanic rages,
Spirit’s rain, reigned down my ages?
Data’s there, my life’s arranged it.
Is there yet the time to change it?

You then send in a surface probe.
Small fingers on an arm,
Seeking more than eyes can tell,
Investigate a lobe.
“Grandpa you’re so squidgy!”
And so you break the spell.