“…For to see your face is like seeing the face of God, now that you have received me favorably.” Genesis 33:10b (Jacob speaking to Esau)
Jacob hasn’t seen Esau in 20 years. He deceived his brother twice. He took his birthright and his blessing. Esau was ready to kill him when Jacob ran away. Jacob comes back now with fear and trembling knowing Esau may still want revenge. Yet, Esau receives him in love fully forgiving him. Jacob says that seeing the forgiveness of Esau is like seeing the face of God. Jacob had been afraid that Esau would wipe out his family. Kill everyone. He knows he wronged his brother. When Esau receives him with forgiveness, Jacob receives it as from God. He sees the face of God in Esau’s mercy. This reminds me of Les Miserables which I saw yesterday. When the priest shows mercy, forgiveness and undeserved grace to Jean Valjean, it changes his life. He has seen God. When Jean shows mercy and grace to Fantine, Cosette and even to his enemy, Javert, they see God. When we show underserved grace, mercy and forgiveness to someone else, we allow them to see the face of God. In our humanness, we want what we think we deserve. We want justice. We want revenge or what is due us. Would I so graciously forgive someone who stole from me? Someone who took what was rightfully mine?
Father, I want to have a spirit of forgiveness and grace. I too often think in terms of what is mine. What I deserve. You have already given me grace beyond what I could ever earn. You have blessed me beyond what I deserve. You have given me treasures no one can take away. Eternal treasures. Why would I worry about earthly things? By your grace Lord, help me show to others the grace you have shown me.