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Ripe for the Harvest
Take it to Heart
Teen Truth
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The Look in Her Face
By DeAnna Brooks

"Why do you say … and complain … ‘My way is hidden from the LORD; my cause is disregarded by my God?’" (Isaiah 40:27 NIV)

What is it about "firsts" that capture our heart? Grab a moment, bury it deep within a secret chamber of our being, a priceless treasure we wouldn't trade for anything?

First smile! First step! First word! First love!

My son is still in that indescribable euphoria that arrives on the wings of a first child. He wears that special glow that marks each day with expectation. He’s discovering tugs on heartstrings he never knew existed, and a new melody stirs daily. You know; that smile that never fades and that step you just know is going to shoot him to the moon if something doesn't keep him earthbound.

Unexpected firsts come dressed in the most surprising packages. Like first immunizations – my son had been counting the days. And the day arrived! Full of eagerness, he left work early to join his wife and daughter. No way was he going to miss out on this. Yes, there was that spicy pinch of trepidation adding flavor to the moment, but it didn't lessen the spring in his step. He knew his daughter wouldn't be happy, not the moment that unexpected stab came. And he just had to be there – to add whatever comfort he could. A first, about to happen!

I still hear the anguish in my son’s voice when the call came. "But, Mom, I was looking in her face. Holding her hands out of the way. Looking IN HER FACE! It tore my heart out! She was so happy, grinning, looking me right in the eye. Then – her face, Mom. I can't get the look in her face out of my heart!"

With those words a father’s heart was captured, and broken. At that moment I saw a new glimpse of my Heavenly Father in my son’s anguish. And I experienced a first. Suddenly I saw my son’s anguish-filled words clearly mirroring God’s own. Our Heavenly Father’s heart was captured, and broken! I struggle with remembering it is the Father-heart of God, His heartstrings, that are plucked when He looks at me. The Father-heart of God that feels pleasure when ‘believing’, I look into His face.

I must confess that far too many times, despite what my outside is saying, my secret cry, my heartless accusation, cast heavenward, screams, "You don’t see! You don’t care! You wouldn't let me go through this if You did!"

My cry, how it pierces His Father-heart! A Father-heart that longs only to protect, to comfort. A Heart that would lay down His life for me; indeed did ‘lay down’ His life, for ME. Without holding back a nuance of longing for our understanding. Isaiah 40:28-31 lays out the LORD’s Father-heart on our behalf, His own aching cry. Words that are so familiar to us, maybe we miss them altogether. Can you hear in them the Father-heart anguish as His looks in your face?

"Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." (NIV)

Our Heavenly Father’s heart was captured, and broken! I want to remember that, moment-by-moment, it is the Father-heart of God that looks at me. That searches to see if I am looking at Him. That knows giddy pleasure when He discovers my eyes glued to His. I want to remember it is the Father-heart of God that longs to be there with me and for me. Like my son, longing to be there with his daughter. Longing to be there for his daughter. I cannot help but wonder if every time I'm stabbed by life’s pain, it is a first for the Father-heart of God. That He is struck anew by the anguish, of His heart, of mine. And I know that if I'm listening, I will hear my son’s words tear forth from His own heart. "It tore my heart out! I can't get the look of her face out of my heart!"

Lord, give me ears to hear. To hear Your heart as it speaks to mine, "It tore my heart out! I can't get the look on your face out of my heart!" Then let me move towards You, towards Your arms that want to comfort. Towards the strength You long to bestow. Let me feel You lift me up, Lord, in Your gentle hands, then let me spread my wings, and soar.
My name is DeAnna Brooks and I enjoy writing. I began writing as a teenager, and though I have not been as consistent as my heart longed to by, writing still brings me great joy. I have written two works that I have self published: In the Secret Place - 31 Days of Prayer for Expectant Moms and Dads and a 31 Day Devotional Journal entitled Confident Walk.
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