He wasn’t but a few hours old when the questions began.
“Who does he look like?”
The debate is familiar. I’ve swaddled three daughters and one son in hospital blankets and visitors have glanced into their faces and declared each time:
Just like dad.
Just like mom.
The opinions differ, this person…that person….there’s no consensus here.
So they ask me and what to say? I fail at this every time, not seeing all him, all me. Seeing only “our baby.”
That’s what we decide as a family, not so much that my son looks like dad or mom. Instead, he looks like a “King baby” and the comparisons are less with his parents and more with his sisters—his sibling counterparts with shared DNA.
I think of my own reflection and how people have told me my whole life that I look exactly like my mom.
But this light brown hair, my blue eyes, my fair skin….those aren’t my mom’s features. Those belong to my father.
What they see in me isn’t a physical copy of my mom, but a personality, a laugh, a voice that make me her “spitting image.”
So maybe the essence of who we are truly overcomes the external and influences—maybe even determines—the way others see us.
People can look right at me and see past all that is physical to the spirit within.
And so the apostle Paul could see past body frailty to find faith in a man.
In Lystra there sat a man who was lame. He had been that way from birth and had never walked. He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed and called out, “Stand up on your feet!” At that, the man jumped up and began to walk (Acts 14:8-10).
How many people had looked directly at that man and seen only external limitation? From his birth, he’d been crippled and all through childhood he’d been defined by disability.
Yet, his faith was so great, so overpowering, as to be his greatest noticeable characteristic. Among a mob of many, his faith made him stand out.
What does such faith look like? What are its features?
If someone looked at me in a crowd, would they see this faith above all else in me?
He must have had mountain-moving faith, the kind that makes room for miracles and doesn’t crowd them out with doubt rooted in practicalities and self-reliance.
Could I have faith so bold?
And daily faith, what about that? Would Paul have seen faith in me amidst the most minor of daily annoyances, the stresses of the schedule, the disappointments of the moment and the way I have to face up to my very own mistakes and failings?
Doesn’t that take faith also?
To choose not to make a forgotten phone call a crisis or a lost library book or the 5 minutes on the clock screaming at me that we’re late or my mistake from rushing too much (yet again).
How we react in the most mundane of stressors reflects our faith (or lack of it).
Do we trust that God has everything under control?
Yes, the overwhelming issues we can’t possibly handle, but can we trust Him even with our calendar and our kids’ homework and our grocery bill?
And, if He is so trustworthy, why then fret and fear instead of relax easy into faith in a God so mighty and so merciful?
The Proverbs 31 woman “can laugh at the days to come” (Proverbs 31:25).
She has no fear of tomorrow or any days after that and no worries over what-if’s and hypotheticals.
She has faith. And it shows up in her demeanor, in her belly of laughter instead of a wrinkled face of worry.
Proverbs also tells me this:
As a face is reflected in water, so the heart reflects the real person (Proverbs 27:19 NLT).
My reflection should radiate faith, the confident assurance that God is who says He is and He will do what He says He will do.
It’s the firm, unshakeable belief that whatever I face any day in this world is in His hands and never beyond His control or His caring.
Who do I look like, then?
Oh, I hope it’s a woman of deep, unshakeable faith. I hope people see Jesus in me. I hope people could pick me out of a crowd and know that I was His.