Occasionally while holding our grandson in my lap as he begins to drift off to sleep, he will look up into my face with all the inquisitiveness of any four-year-old. Slowly and gently, he will reach upward to touch my nose, lips, and eyebrows and with his tiny fingers begin to explore what to him must seem like a vast terrain of the unknown. My eyes follow his, and then unexpectedly I begin to experience the kind of bonding that develops when one gazes intently into the face of another. This small gesture of a child touched my soul in a way I didn’t anticipate, much different than, for instance, shaking someone’s hand, even of family and friends.
A book came out some 30 years ago called “Megatrends,” which predicted a major shift in the world, in one instance characteristically described as “high tech…low touch.” The more technologically advanced we are, the less is our interpersonal connectedness. We see evidence of this today in our relationships with one another, especially in the fracturing of the traditional family and the steady decline of meaningful interaction within households. This brings to mind how important it was for Jesus to gather his disciples around a table and be able to look into the faces of those whom he loved dearly. The next time we gather with family and friends around the table, take a moment to gaze into the faces of those around us. There is something magical and perhaps even mystical about what happens to us when we are intently focused on the face of another, especially when we remember it is one shaped in God’s own image. [Read more…]