See the Face of Jesus

Have you ever heard of magic 3D art? There are many books on the internet to purchase, some called "Magic Eye" books (as well as books by other names). The pictures in the books look like a beautiful, colorful, mess of patterns. But the idea is that you look through the mess of colors and patterns and you can see a 3D picture, like a bird flying through the clouds. The technique is to hold the picture close to your nose and stare at it, without blinking. As you move the picture farther away from your face, the 3D image comes into view. I tried it recently. I stared at the picture and then I moved it slowly farther away from my face. Every time, I could see the picture becoming 3D, but then I would blink, and I would lose the image. I wasn't too successful.

There is a negative image - an optical illusion - of the face of Jesus on the internet. (We use that picture in Perry Township Religious Ed classes for 4th and 5th graders.) You focuson the dots in the center of the picture, or continuously blink your eyes while staring at the picture, for 30 seconds. Then you close your eyes and look up toward the light and you can mysteriously see the face of Jesus.

Wouldn't it be great if we could focus on and look through all of the mess in our everyday lives and see the face of Jesus? It would be great! Brother Lawrence, who lived in the 1600s, wrote a book called "The Practice of the Presence of God." Brother Lawrence wanted to experience the presence of God in the messiness of the everyday mundane things he did - washing dishes, preparing meals, and having conversations in the community. Everywhere and always, he wanted to experience the presence of God.

But that takes work. It takes practice (as the name of the book suggests). You must look through all the mess. You must focus on Jesus to experience His presence.

Look through!  Focus!  Practice!

Sometimes as I am trying to experience God's presence in my daily life, I try to look through the mess, I try to focus, but then I blink, and His presence is gone, that is, until I look through and focus again. It takes practice.

I pray that you will experience the presence of God in the mess that may be in your lives this day.  Focuslook throughpractice again and again, and see the face of Jesus in all of your life, even and especially in the mess.

Pastor Doug