Friday, October 28, 2005

The Light of His Face

"May you see the face of Christ on everyone you meet, and
May everyone you meet see
the face of Christ in you."

These were the final words from the benediction given at the service for my sister-in-law's father. I sat in the pew, absorbing the words as people drifted slowly from the church, talking quietly or in silence. I didn't know if anyone else was carrying this profound blessing with them until my mom and I slipped into the back seat of the car. Being of Mother's heart, I should have known that she was thinking on it too.

"I remember Marguerite from Park Church," Mom said, referring to a lovely woman from the small, country church of my childhood. "She always had such a serene expression on her face; a look of peacefulness, love, contentment. And I wondered what message I was carrying around on my own." We continued to discuss it as my oldest sister turned the car towards a nearby restaurant.

"The Carriage Crossing" is located in the midst of a small community, very strong in its Amish and Mennonite heritage. Horse-drawn buggies whisk by at a lively gait carrying hatted men in black and lovely women in dresses and bonnets. It is like stepping back into a simpler and focused life.

Once seated we were greeted by our waitress; a young girl in a plain, gray dress that brushed her ankles, and a sheer, white cap. Though we were a party of ten, she moved about us with ease; her hands in practiced, lifelong expertise. But it was her face that captured me. I found myself entranced as she circled our table, taking orders, smiling. Her soft voice rose with an inner song as she spoke to each of us, and her beautiful smile shone through her eyes. She was grace and loveliness; her face glowing with a light from within.

I longed to take her picture, but a photograph would have been inappropriate, out of place and not allowed. Besides, how can you capture on printed paper a look that comes from the soul? It was a message, a gift, a witness of looking into the eyes of someone close to God. There in that restaurant, upon that sweet expression, I saw the face of Christ.

Through this journey may I continue to see it in the faces of others, but more importantly.....may I live the example that allows others to see it in mine.


Macromoments said...

Lori, this post gave me *much* to think on. It's rare to meet a stranger who reflects Christ without saying a word. Thanks for passing along that experience.

naive-no-more said...

I think I've been to the Carriage Crossing. Or a restaurant very similar in a predominant Amish community.

Are we closer than we thought to each other?

Rebecca said...

Lori, I hope you plan on printing these posts out, and passing them onto your children in a book. They are absolutely beautiful, and I believe to be a complete reflection of who you are. These words are going to be cherished for years to come within your family.

Lori said...

Bonnie - yes, it was really something. That beautiful young woman absolutely beamed with an inner radiance. I wish I had a way of relaying that to her...

naive - I'm in KS...I'm thinking you are in from a different area, but perhaps still the midwest? If that WAS the same Carriage Crossing...send me an email (I think you can get to it from here). Wouldn't that be amazing?! :-)

rebecca - I periodically print out all my writings because I'm afraid that something may happen to the blog sometime and it would all be lost. My kids don't give it much thought right now, but I think it will mean a lot to them someday. Thank you for your kind words.

martie said...

Lori, this is a lovely post. It is one of those "warm fuzzies" we seldom find in life!

I,too, wish we could sit and enjoy a cup of coffee together and chat and get to know each other.

Anonymous said...

Lori, I really like how you look into a persons eyes can see the reflection of their soul. So few people have this gift. Not everyone has the discernment of character. It is a spiritual gift. I have to be careful not to offend, however this is biblical. I have a similar gift. After my epiphany I had the same type of gift. It is like radar of spirit. Though some have a sense of character from common sense others can see the reflection of Christ, as they have Christ in their heart as well. It is biblically written that we are ourselves with the Holy spirit, and seeing that in others is so heart felt in encouragment. It might be what we need to smile and take strength from. Or it might be the smile that lights up a thousand homes. The connection of spirit is a blessing. There are other spiritual gifts and each of these is a blessing. I also want to say I believe we all have a spiritual gift, though the awareness of that is not something we all can say we all understand. There is no one better or worse because of this, it is a simple fact of the maturity in their relationship with Christ. This is a blessing to the person and others who are in contact with them. Though at times we may see a particular community as missing out on the other aspects of our culture. How amazing is it that woman who served you has so much contentment in her life and can express her heart through her actions so effortlessly. Wouldn't it be a simpler world if a peace can be felt by all. Wouldn't it be a an amazing world, if as a woman who can see the reflection of Christ in character that you would see and feel this every day, from every person? This is not a statement of the world needs more Christians, but a statement of the peace that is found with what is inside of your heart and what is reflected back to others. What do we reflect?

I think your readers know what Lori reflects from her heart. A deep love of her family and friends, a patience of heart that notices beauty and loves to share that with others. We appreciate this and love you for it. Though we have never met, we share an understanding of what moves us. We respect that in each other, and see how Christ influences us is so many great ways. Your pictures do capture this, your writing does as well. Your spiritual gift comes through very clear to us.

You ae a great person. And I like this about you.

naive-no-more said...

Lori, the Carriage Crossing is the same exact sign, but now I remember the restaurant I'm speaking of is the Carriage House.

I'm much further north that you, but still in the midest. (bummer)

Oh, and there is a site where you can save your blog from tragic deletion. Not sure how it works, but here is the link if you are interested:

I don't know if it's free or not, but your blog is definitely worth protecting.