Every time I looked up from the pulpit to give an illustration or make a point, I would notice the expressions on people’s faces. What were they telling me?
A smiling face says, “Preach it, sister!” An intent look says, “I’m with you.” But a furrowed brow might say, “I don’t think so” or “You lost me there.” What about someone who has their head in their hands? That can’t be good. A blank look might mean they’re distracted or bored. Then there’s a half-smile that says, “Yup, that’s the same outfit she wore last time.”
My brain takes this in in nanoseconds and files it at the back of my mind for later. If I dare think about it while I’m preaching, I’d be done for. I get unnerved by blank or troubled faces. So I look for enthusiastic listeners. Their faces encourage me and give me energy.
But, on this new adventure with Jesus, I realize that don’t need them to tell me I’m okay.
Later, when I sat with him and thought about all those faces, I remembered what David said in Psalm 27:8. “My heart says of you, ‘Seek his face!’ Your face, Lord, I will seek.”
Isn’t my heart telling me the same thing? Jesus is inviting me to look for his face in the crowd. He wants me to be anchored in him instead of being buoyed by a smile or swamped by a frown.
Yes, my heart sings, “My soul is at rest in God alone. My salvation comes from God.”
Guard us, Lord, from seeking to find our identity in performance or professions.
– from the Noon Prayer of the SoulStream Community