Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Losing Face

“… and beauty is fleeting…” Proverbs 31:30
Last summer, my then 5YO tripped and fell over the curb in a parking lot and skinned up his chin, nose and lip. He cried and cried, but then stared at himself in the mirror when he got home.

“What if I go to Kindergarten and nobody likes me because of my face?” he said.

I assured him that it was June and that his face would surely heal by August. And, of course, it did.

Today, the 8YO did an epic nosedive onto the concrete on the way back from art class at the end of the day. He scraped up his knee and the left side of his face right up around his eye. I was substituting today so I was there to do triage when the patient came in.

Baby wipe…

Antibiotic ointment…


I think he’s going to make it. But, he was very upset about the fall, much more than the flesh wound would cause. I think it was the fact that it was a face wound. You get used to seeing yourself a certain way, after all.

The other kids would all look and then make a face and turn away. They were surely showing empathy, but he wasn’t very receptive to their pity.

Cookies, milk, and a promise to withhold all bathing until tomorrow schmoozed things over with him after we got home.

Now I’ve lost some face in my days, though not in the physical sense in recent memory. Occasionally, the way we see ourselves is not the way that others see us. We hold our “image” in high regard, while others look on us with pity or even grimaces. Seeing yourself through those eyes is almost as shocking as perhaps my son looking upon his marred face in the mirror at school today. And sometimes the pain is just as deep.

But the old adage is true – “don’t judge a book by its cover” – although sometimes it seems hard to remember. You never know what lies beneath, no matter the façade on the outside.

Here’s hoping your “face” stays intact today, physically and metaphorically speaking.

“Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.” Proverbs 30:5


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