I need a face

Photo by JR Korpa

Secular spirituality is full of great concepts…

We are whole and complete.

Forgiveness is the key to liberation.

All you need is love (love — love is all you need).

But, from what I found during my many years in the secular spirituality world, when we talk about and stew in these big, open, abstract concepts, we have nothing to grab onto.

I don’t know about you, but my faith needs a face. It needs to be rooted and grounded historically in this human experience.

That’s what Jesus has done for me (or, at least one of them) since returning to the Christian faith. He gives my faith a face.

Jesus takes faith out of the realm of abstract concepts and gives it a name, a face, and a living, breathing example.

Because we can go around and say that God is love, etc. — and it ‘makes sense’ at a certain level. Like, it seems like the right thing to say and the right way to live. Who can argue with that, right?

But what does that even mean? And what does it look like to live that way?

Turning to the stories of (and parables/testaments from) Jesus provides a human reference.

We are mirrored not by concepts, but by faces delighting in us, giving us the face we can’t give to ourselves. And, of course, the ultimate and perfect mirror is the face of God.

— Richard Rohr

Jesus. The face of God (not to be confused with God Godself). A living and breathing sacrament whose life speaks to us today more than it ever did.