Show me Your face, Lord
Show me Your face
Then gird up my legs that I might stand in this holy place
Show me Your face, Lord
Your power and grace
I could make it to the end if I can just see Your face
Show Me Your Face, Juanita Bynum
My voice harmonized as I sung with every fiber of my being. My heart ached with the earnest desire to see the face of Jesus. I wanted to see my Lord. I wanted it more than the breath I breathe. The ache in my heart was unbearable.
In response, the bedroom became charged with the weight of God’s glory. A holy presence filled the room. My body begun to slowly vibrate. Tears streamed down my face as Dr. Juanita Bynum’s voice faded in the background. I was lost in the glory.
Time stopped. I was suddenly taken in a vision to a road. A man laid on the ground before me. Garbage and other discarded items encircled him. His feet were dirty. His clothes were tattered, faded and dark brown. I instinctively knew that the clothes had not been washed for decades. His hair was long, grey and unkept. His face had layers of dirt. His dark eyes locked with mine.
“Help me!” They begged.
His plight saddened me.
“This is my face!” The voice of the Lord thundered.
The shock of His response jolted me out of the vision.
For days I contemplated what it meant. “What did He mean? Why wasn’t I privileged to be shown His majesty? Why did he not appear to me as He has done with so many others? Wasn’t I among the people that were ‘specially selected’ to see Him? Was I not worthy?” I pondered on it but not once did I think about asking Him what it meant. At that time I only listened as He talked. My relationship with Him mirrored the relationship between me and my natural father. When he spoke I only listened. I did not respond.
As time when by I forgot about the vision. The Lord did not forget though. Little did I know that He would provide understanding when I least expected it.
The Lord sent me to assist at various ministries and I would minister to people. Now this was not my choice. He forced my hand. I obeyed what He told me and eventually became homeless. To survive I had to go where He sent me. Experience taught me that provision was there. Little did I know that He was using the experience to prepare me for other things.
When I went to Florida in January, the church restarted their ministry to the homeless. I felt drawn to the ministry. My heart ached for the people. So I went.
Initially, the people were not responding well to our visit. So we begun praying for the Lord to send souls. That evening the people came and kept coming. They also opened their hearts and begun to share their stories.
One by one they came forward and spoke candidly about their past. Most were harrowing. Some of them faced insurmountable challenges from birth. Others admitted that they were reaping the consequences of their bad choices.
As they spoke, my eyes begun to twitch. Moisture started forming in it. I knew what was about to happen. And decided to stop it. “Not now! God do not do this”, I silently pleaded. My request was not heard. Tears started running down my face.
Then He reminded me of what He said a year ago.
“Don’t hold back the tears. When I weep through you. Do not fight it. Allow the tears to flow. Let them see My compassion.”
I am not one to cry. My early years was spent growing up in a very rough ghetto in Kingston, Jamaica. I stayed away from the gangs but I learned not to show any signs of weakness. I saw people who were considered weak being picked on. So in my early teens I decided that crying was the greatest sign of weakness. It always alerted to the bully to smell of a victim. I decided from then that no one will see me cry. Especially, my colleagues and friends. Family maybe. That was my philosophy, before the Lord upended it.
Every time I ministered to others I felt everything that happened internally. It was not just the word of knowledge working to make me aware of their experiences, I felt their pain, I felt their joy, their laughter, their confusion, their illness. I felt it all. Their suffering became real to me. Then the tears begun flowing. I would feel the compassion of the Lord for His children. He was saddened by their state.
As I sat in that room I felt His compassion for everyone.
“Lord please give us the Words to provide healing, deliverance and change in their lives. Please do not let any of them be lost. You know them. You know their hearts and everything about them. Please teach us how we may transform their lives. Help us to see them as you do.” I prayed silently.
In response He made me aware of their potential. They were not their past or present. These were only situations that caused them to be down on their luck. With love and guidance things would turn around for them.
The Heart of God
Suddenly, the image of the homeless man, from the vision many years ago, appeared before me.
“Now you have seen My face. If you want to see me. See me in them. Help them and you will show your love towards Me. I am concerned about every one of them.”
Isn’t it amazing that we obsess with paintings, statues, movies, testimonies, etc that show the face of Jesus. Yet we fail to see Him revealed in the life of our brothers and sisters. Especially, those who are suffering.
It shocks me when I hear sermons advocating that we must release ourselves from the people who are only taking from us, so that we can go to our next level.
“If they have nothing to give. Cut them loose.”
This sloppy agape sounds good but it is worldly and selfish at its core. There are people who demand our time and resources that we cannot simply separate from – children, parents and family are first on the list. Then there are friends and other people that we should take time to help.
If you are thinking of going to your next level. Look at the people around you. What do they constantly demand from you? Where does your heart lie? This is God indicating what He desires you to do.
Your next level, dare I say your highest level, demands that you serve. “He that is greatest among you shall be your servant” (Matthew 23:11).
In your moment of contemplation think about the people around you. Ask God for the wisdom to minister to their needs without becoming depleted physically, emotionally, financially and spiritually. Do not be afraid of the challenges. Serve.
Jesus is our example. He not only told us to serve others. He demonstrated it. He gave His life for all of us.
The next time you look at someone down on their luck, the homeless person on the street, the addict, the prostitute, the homosexual, the lesbian, the transvestite or any other outcast of society, I hope you see the face of Jesus. Ask God to show you how to minister to that person.
You will see the radiant glory of His face reflected in your brother and sister.