I stood quietly before God the Father in prayer. In my holy imagination, no one else was there; it was just the two of us. Slowly and gently, everything I had with me began to be stripped away. My fears and anxieties, my questions about the future, my desire for a clearer understanding of His ways—they all disappeared. It was so good to be there with Him. As He looked upon me, I allowed Him to see me exactly as I am. There was no shame, no element of self-consciousness. In that moment, I saw His face, and I understood the Psalmist’s words:
“Let us see your face, Lord, and we shall be saved.” (Psalm 80:4b)
His gaze saved me, sisters. My soul was filled with peace: Peace in knowing Him, and in being known by Him. Peace in seeing His face, and knowing my true identity lies in Him. Peace as His beloved daughter.
In his book, Interior Freedom, Father Jacques Philippe writes, “The look in [God our Father’s] eyes is the purest, truest, tenderest, most loving, and most hope-filled in this world. The greatest gift given those who seek God’s face by persevering in prayer may be that one day they will perceive something of this divine look upon themselves; they will feel themselves loved so tenderly that they will receive the grace of accepting themselves in depth.”
When we turn to the Lord and open ourselves to receive His gaze, we can know Him, and in turn, know who we are. For many of us, receiving His gaze and accepting His love might even be harder than striving to love Him, but oh, how He desires this kind of intimacy with us! The Lord constantly desires to reveal Himself to us. Just think of how many opportunities He gives us to encounter Himself! When we read His Word, we learn His character. When we visit Him in Adoration, we meet Him face-to-face. When we receive the precious gift of the Eucharist, He is one with us.
It is in this relationship, this knowing Him, and Him loving us, that we are saved.
When was the last time you allowed the Father to see you, just as you are, sister? When was the last time you took in His gaze? Open our eyes to You, dear Father. We love you so.
Elise Howe is a devoted wife, momma, vocal artist and teacher. She currently resides in New York City, though she will always be a Midwestern gal at heart. Elise has a heart for ministry, dark chocolate (but not too dark) and coffee with a generous amount of cream + sugar. Find out more about her here.