Face to Face

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. -1 Cor. 13:12

I am beginning to see that there’s just no substitute for face-to-face time.

The other day I found myself instant messaging another staff person who was in the adjacent room to my office! I couldn’t believe that I had succumbed to the technology vortex that sucks us all into its cyber-grasp. I guess we get pressured into it by our kids. I called my daughter the other day and with terse tones, she instructed me: “Dad, next time, TEXT me! I could have been in a movie!”

Voice mail, e-mail and blogging may cause us to think that we are connecting with one another, but these tools are illusory. When used as the normative way of communing, they can make us a mile wide and an inch deep.

Recently, I spoke with a friend and asked him for his email address. He was kind enough to give it to me, but then he added, “But could you use it sparingly? I would much rather hear your voice. It is your spirit that has always helped me, and I cannot hear that through an email or from text messages.”

Fair enough. Even flattering.

“Though I have many things to write to you, I do not want to do so with paper and ink; but I hope to come to you and speak face to face, so that your joy may be made full.”

That’s found in 2 John 12. The Scriptures of long ago seem to have a current word for us bloggers and e-mailers today. Technology can fool me into thinking I’ve “connected” with dozens of people without requiring me to spend more than a few seconds at my computer keyboard. Instant Messaging may make me efficient, but it doesn’t help anyone to become known more deeply, down where we yearn to be known.

“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.” 1 Cor. 13:12

So what’s the remedy? It comes packaged in a commodity we hold most precious … Time.

Transferring our Cyber-philosophy to God

Is it any wonder that in our manic reliance on disembodied communication, we can be fooled into thinking we can somehow know God apart from spending time in His presence? Reading a devotional book is lofty and studying a book on apologetics might be a beneficial pursuit. However, that kind of knowledge will only take me so far if it’s not matched by time spent face to face before the One I’ve been trying to connect with.

I’m becoming more and more convinced that my connection with God demands nothing else but long stretches of time staring at His face. An old poem titled More and More reminds me of this truth:

By and by when I look on His face, Beautiful face, thorn shadowed face. By and by when I look on His face, I’ll wish I’d given Him more.

If you do one thing today, do this: sit still and wait expectantly before the Face of the One who never changes, and whose love never diminishes.

And just when you think you’ve been there plenty long, pause … and linger just a little while more. That’s when you get to know Him and when you do, you’ll want to give Him more.

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