Clean Shaven God

This Friday was a big day in my life. I cannot describe how significant a day in this email, it was huge. On Friday, after a long time of hirsute living I shaved off my beard. For many of you this will seem like a non-event but to me it was a big deal. I hadn't seen parts of my face for a long time. They had lay hidden under a covering of ginger and an ever-increasing amount of white hair. The last time I shaved my beard off a friend admonished me with the words, 'Never do that again,' whilst another kindly chimed in, 'you look like a wooden spoon with a face.' You can see why it felt significant. 

By 2pm the deed was done, the wooden spoon was back in the open air. Then something unexpected happened. Whilst changing my baby son's nappy he looked at my face for the first time since I had shaved and instantly started to cry. There is a part of me that is convinced it is because he didn't recognise me anymore. I was familiar but different. It must be confusing to a five month old mind. When I spoke he calmed down in seconds. He knew it was me. 

It made me think about my relationship with God. What are the markers in my Spiritual life that I use to recognise His activity around me? Am I missing things He is doing because I have an idea of who He is that means I don't recognise Him moving in ways that don't fit my understanding? 

The Bible tells us that if we seek God with ALL of our hearts we will find Him. It is quite the challenge. I wonder if sometimes we divide our hearts a little as we seek Him and that causes us to miss the wonder of what He is up to in the world. 

Do we love God's justice and sometimes miss His grace? Do we love God's calling of us to active mission in the world and miss His call to rest? Do we recognise all of His markers in our lives or are we so familiar with some of what He does and who He is that we are missing the rest. 

This week may we ask God to show us more of who He is and what He is doing. May we learn to embrace new parts of life with God that may feel unfamiliar or even scary to us. God's character and activity are vast and expansive, there is always more to discover. Lets seek Him with more of our hearts every day. 

By the way, I'm probably going to grow the beard back. It seems like much less effort than shaving regularly.