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The Face Of God

November 30, 2018

Seeking the face of God in everything, everyone, all the time, and his hand in every happening; this is what it means to be contemplative in the heart of the world. 

Mother Theresa

 

To love another person is to see the face of God.

Victor Hugo
 

On October 14th, I too saw the “Face of God”.  There in the face of our new great- 

granddaughter.

 

I watched her as she looked around. All 6 and a half pounds of her.   Wearing a pink hat made by Grandma, she lay resting in the arms of her father.  After all it had been quite a journey.  Joy and celebration swirling all around her.

 

But that is not the only place I saw the “Face of God”.

 

I saw our Granddaughter’s face earlier as she struggled with labor, determined to bring this child safely into the world.  I saw her face, exhausted by that effort.  And I saw her rest, gathering all her strength to push again.

 

I watched her husband as he walked with her. Talking with her, encouraging her in her efforts and supporting her when she rested. 

 

I saw her mother (my daughter) as she wiped her daughter’s face with a damp cloth and rubbed her back.  Or applied pressure to her hips and lower back to help relieve some of the pain.  I watched my daughter as she lovingly did all that she could to ease her labor.

 

I watched and observed, taking pictures as my gift to them.  And as her time grew closer and more intense, I put aside my camera and climbed next to her on the bed.  I held my Granddaughter’s hand through a contraction.  As I looked at her hand, I thought of the first time I held it.  On the day of her birth.  Yes, I was present when she took her first breath.  One that was some time in coming because her umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck. I remember the relief as we heard her cry.

 

I held her hand as a toddler, when we walked outside to take her picture underneath a tree.  I held her hand as we walked together and she shared with me about being in love.  And then the day she showed me her hand, wearing the ring he gave her- that day in the sun and the sand. 

 

Now I saw that hand clutch and relax.  I held her hand as I prayed and was reminded of the long line of strong women who have gone before her.  And not just the two of us present in the room.  But also those no longer on this side of the veil.  My mother and aunt.    My grandmother and great aunts.  And on and on.  I felt all of these women with us, giving her their strength as well.

 

I watched the mid-wife and nurse as they listened to the baby’s heartbeat and talked to the parents, with kindness and patience.  Gently, calmly walking with all of us throughout the night.

 

“It’s a girl!”  I heard her father cry at 2:20 am. 

 

And I saw the “Face of God” as I later looked around the room, at all those who had gathered through the night to welcome this new life.   Laughter, tears, hugs and cameras.

 

Her village had gathered around.

 

Kris Jenkins is Celtic Way Contributor & Photographer

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