The Face of Forgiveness

Tammy De Ruyter

READ : Numbers 6:22-26

The Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious. (v. 25)

Max Lucado tells the story of Madeline. As a child, she would dance with her poppa
every Christmas Eve. He carried her, legs dangling, laughter bubbling. When she was older,
father and daughter glided across the floor. And so it went, as Madeline grew. Then came
the teenage years, including piercings, dark clothes, the attitude, and the bad-news
boyfriend. The nights got longer and Madeline drifted farther away.

One night she left. Weeks turned into months. Her money gone, Madeline turned to the
only thing she knew: dancing. She was too proud to go home. Drugs became her only
companion. Finally, Poppa tracked her down and sent a message inside the club. Trembling
with fear, Madeline opened the envelope. “I know where you are,” she read, “I know what
you do. This doesn’t change the way I feel. Will you come home and dance with your poppa
again?” Tears streamed down Madeline’s face. “And so the two danced again on Christmas

God is more magnificent, more loving, than any human experience we can know. “God’s
shining countenance,” says theologian Jurgen Moltmann, “is the source of the outpouring of
the Spirit and of God’s life, love, and blessing.” To see his face is to receive his
forgiveness. How can we bear to look upon the face of God? Because God’s love is greater
than our shame and sin.


Thank you, heavenly Father, for shining your face upon us, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.