You know that feeling when you’re reading a book or you’re watching a movie and something is said that just clicks? You’re sitting there fully engrossed and a sentence is uttered that changes your whole life. Somehow, the words resonate with your entire being. Your chest feels like it expands, your stomach flutters, and you feel this budding rise of excitement.
The quote stays with you forever. It may be five words, but those five words alter your existence.
I think that maybe the world is full of magic. You never know when it’s going to hit, but when it does, everything changes. Those moments where simple words change your life are part of that magic. In light of that, I want to share this phrase with you. You’ve probably heard it multiple times, but it’s so beautiful it’s worth sharing again.
This is a quote from Les Miserables. Fantine is singing it to Jean Valjean as his life is completing. The entire song is beautiful, absolutely one of my favorites, but every time I hear this phrase part of me just…sighs. In relief. In joy. In gratitude. All from one tiny phrase.
Isn’t it beautiful to think you can have such an impact on a person simply by saying one thing? It’s a reminder of how powerful words truly are.
This particular phrase hits home with me because of the possibility it represents. To love another person is to see the face of God. I’ve thought a lot about it, looking at why the words resonate within me, and I’ve learned some things. When I look at my children, my husband, and the people around me, I have a choice. I can look at them through tinted goggles that cause them to appear a certain way, but I choose the tint. They may look pleasant or they may look mean. They may look like friends, or enemies. I decide. Sometimes I just decide not to look, and I ignore everybody around me. I make them invisible.
How do you suppose that makes them feel?
What happens if I look at them with love? What happens if I take on the idea that loving another person is a way to see the face of God, maybe not literally but in a figurative sense of the word?
When you put on the filter that says ‘I love you’ to every person you meet, they begin to show up differently. You find compassion. You find when your eyes meet that they have strength. You realize that they’re guarded, but somewhere in there they love you back. They may not know why, but it connects you to them.
Could it be that seeing the face of God in the context of that quote would simply be seeing the individual that God created? Not the body, not the identity, not the external person running the show, but the internal one. The soul or spirit which is too big to be contained in the body. How incredible would it be if we looked for the face of God in everyone we meet? I believe our lives would shift dramatically. I believe we’d find peace, joy, empathy, trust, and vulnerability.
Those are my thoughts as I write this evening. Are they worth sharing? I don’t know. Maybe. What I do know is that my view of the world is shifting, and I’m trying to bring more of these thoughts and actions into my life. I want to see the beauty in people, I want to recognize them for who they are. I want to see greatness when I look at people. Someday I hope to make this practice my everyday way of being.