I really don’t like talking on the phone. It’s too impersonal. I don’t get to see the other person’s facial expressions and reactions, which makes communicating more difficult than it should be. Whether I’m calling for work or personal reasons, I do my best to keep the conversation short and to the point.
I like instant message, texting, and email even less. I consider them to be even lower forms of communication. I recognize that all three can be useful, but will only use them for short, brief transfers of information. If it takes more than two sentences to type out my question or answer, I’d rather call the person. At least I can hear their voice and quickly deal with issues and questions. However, if at all possible, I’ll go directly to them. I’ve never understood the people at work who sit close to each other and communicate everything via IM. There’s so much lost when we don’t speak face-to-face.
Beyond the efficiency of talking face-to-face, there’s something else happening in the moment that not even Skype or FaceTime can replicate. There is a connectedness among those involved in the discussion…and together, the individuals dialoging face-to-face nearly create a separate persona as a byproduct of their conversation. We have all felt this before, both as someone who is connecting with another person, or as someone who walks into a new room and can instantly tell the “mood” without anyone saying anything.
Our most intimate, intense conversations happen face-to-face. The obvious example is the intimacy between lovers, but we also “get in someone’s face” when expressing our most intense displeasures. The closer we get our face to another person’s face, the more our focus narrows and the stuff of the outside world is pushed aside.
Drawing on this powerful human-interaction experience, David writes the next stanza of Psalm 27. Watch for his desire to seek God’s face, but also his concern if he is unable to do so:
Lord, hear my voice when I call;
be gracious to me and answer me.
In Your behalf my heart says, “Seek My face.”
Lord, I will seek your face.
Do not hide Your face from me;
do not turn Your servant away in anger.
You have been my help;
do not leave me or abandon me, God of my salvation
Even if my father and mother abandon me,
the Lord cares for me.
Without God’s presence in his life, David would feel left behind and alone, with a huge, empty void inside. In a word, he would feel abandoned. David knows that if his own merits were the criteria for meeting with God, he doesn’t deserve to see God face-to-face. However, the last sentence of this stanza is the key to understanding their relationship:
Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord cares for me.
Even if the people who are most expected to care and love him end up leaving him, David knows that being cared for by the Lord will sustain him. This knowledge is what drives him to seek out God’s direct presence.
The same intimate and intense relationship is available to each of us also. Even if we’ve been abandoned by those closest to us, the Lord still cares for us. Seek His face. Seek his presence. The closer we draw to Him, we’ll see what’s most important as the stuff of the outside world is pushed aside.