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February 19, 2015

In the exam room, I sat holding her hand.  She stared into my eyes until I saw her inner child begging for love.  Her tears fell, as did mine, inside.  For a moment, I was her buoy in the rough seas of life.

You never forget the face of the person placing Godly responsibilities on your shoulders.  There was nothing I could do, but hold her hand.

Part of me felt rushed to go back to my computer.

Still, I remembered what Jacob said to his estranged brother in his difficult rendez vous: “When I saw your face it was like seeing the face of God…”

I have known couples who fell in love at a funeral, where tears, vulnerability and mortality had eclipsed the ego, allowing one person to see the other’s face for the very first time.

We live in a faceless world, where we spend most of our days facing not a human being, but a computer screen.  We give priority to “friends” who were not present at our birth, graduation, wedding, and will certainly not show up for our death.

In a world of selfies, paradoxically, we see fewer faces.

Or perhaps the selfie is our generation’s plea to look at me!

There are apps to make us feel that we are facing a beloved.  Facetime.  Facebook.  We see families out to dinner, sitting around a table, each looking at his own phone, texting the other.

Recently, Medicare made a requirement for a face-to-face evaluation of patients before ordering medical equipment or costly services as if to say “you cannot care for a patient without seeing him.”

Facing another person today has become the letter writing of yesterday.  We used to pride ourselves on choosing a nice paper, a great ink pen, and a block of time to bleed our souls in between the lines with carefully chosen words directed to a loved one.  And how we looked forward to the reaction!  But in the age of quick emails and text, those skills are antique.

Let’s hope facing a person does not become a skill we have to teach.

To look into the eyes of the person in front of us requires courage, care, connection, or simply love.  We look into the eyes to “face our fears” or “face the truth.”

Shakespeare believed that Cupid was always painted blind because “Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind.”

Hugo, echoed The Bible “To love another person is to see the face of God.”

And, of course, Moses spoke to God face to face.

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