God’s not smiling

The sky is beautiful tonight. The clouds lit up pink before turning to deep grey. Below them, the sky stretching toward the horizon turned from azure to gold. Zoe alternately slumps on my shoulder and abruptly stands herself straight up inside the circle of my protective arm, big bright eyes locked on the closet behind me. She’s a beautiful, quiet baby and has just begun returning smiles. I find myself just gazing at her sometimes. Studying her face; following its every move and it occurs to me God looks at me like that.

Twenty years ago, I looked at steely grey clouds like those I see tonight, and I wrote, “Silent misty morning. God’s not smiling.” In the years since I wrote those words, I have grown to wonder what emotion God had as He gazed at me that morning with opaque eyes the color of that sky. Recalling those eyes, it seems as if the swirling depth of His emotions were rendered silent because no words could contain them.

After the memory of the poem that followed those words had long since faded from my mind, I could no longer perceive the emotion behind them. But now, as I gaze on the face of my daughter and feel the expressionlessness of my own countenance, I know what God feels as His grey eyes study my face. Suddenly I know the depth of emotion – the depth of love, of pride, of delight – that lurks beneath. Not as fluffy, giddy, fleeting feelings but as permanent residents in my heart. Nothing can change them. They only grow with time.

And that is how God looks at me – with love, with pride and with delight. I finally have the vaguest understanding of what lies behind those silent grey eyes.

7 Feb 91
Silent misty morning
God’s not smiling
He’s looking seriously, silently
I’m gazing into the depths of His eyes
still, patient, constant
He looks steadily
knowingly, compassionately
far beyond my eyes
He’s admiring me, His creation
with focused intensity
as if I’m His one prized creation
He’s worked on it for years
and finally it’s functioning
And He watches with silent, serious love

His Hands cup my face
Our eyes meet
we drink, absorb each other
His is the serious face of someone too urgent
“you must understand this, my child,” He says
“I love you
I’m looking at you – your heart – and I love you.

“Know these words;
you will need them.”


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