Robin Williams and How Faces Speak Volumes

Few people in our lifetime have made others laugh as much as Robin Williams. And few people have a face as mesmerizing as his face. In a curious way, Robin's face was as complex as his lightning-speed mind and his rapid-fire sense of humor.

Dan Delzell is an exclusive CP columnist.
Dan Delzell is an exclusive CP columnist. | (By CP Cartoonist Rod Anderson)

Go to "Google Images" and look at the many faces of Robin Williams. You will notice something missing in those photos. His face never really seemed to project an inner peace.

People reveal a lot about their soul by what is reflected on their face, and in their eyes. Sometimes there is a reflection of a recent joy or sorrow, but other times there is a semblance of a deep loneliness, or a profound measure of satisfaction.

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Some people are easy to read. My wife, for example, constantly wears her feelings on her face. I have seen it displayed for the past 24 years. There is no pretending on her part. What you see is what you get, and I thank the Lord for how genuine she is in our marriage and in all of her relationships.

Other people are not so easy to read. Some of them are pretty good at hiding their feelings. And others are downright scary in their ability to deceive people and do it with a smile on their face. But for the most part, people tend to share their story by what is written on their face.

It's been that way for the past 6000 years of recorded biblical history. Before Cain killed his brother, Abel, he "was very angry, and his face was downcast." (Genesis 4:5) His inner rage was reflected on his face.

Moses had an experience which was just the opposite. "When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord." (Exodus 34:29)

The reflection and radiance of the Lord often shines on the faces of those who walk with Him and talk with Him.

Stephen was the first Christian martyr. He was "a man full of God's grace and power." (Acts 6:8) Some of the religious leaders of that day "looked intently at Stephen, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel." (Acts 6:15) That must have been quite a sight!

In the case of Robin Williams, there always seemed to be a deep authenticity, as well as a hunger for meaning. Robin's many faces seemed to be "longing for something more." The human soul longs for purpose and relevance, and ultimately, it longs for spiritual wholeness.

All of us need "the face of the Lord" to shine upon us. When our four children were younger, I would often pray the "Aaronic blessing" over each one. With my hand on their head I prayed, "The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious unto you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you His peace." (Numbers 6:24-26)

And these words of the Psalmist make a wonderful prayer for those who want to experience spiritual renewal: "Restore us, O God Almighty; make your face shine upon us, that we may be saved." (Psalm 80:7) If you truly want inner peace, "Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always." (1 Chronicles 16:11)

Do you remember what happened to Jesus before His brutal crucifixion? The soldiers "struck Him in the face." (John 19:3) And do you know why Jesus endured it? It was because of His love for you and me, and for Robin Williams, and for every human being. "Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God." (1 Peter 3:18)

Today man can seek the face of God because of what Christ endured upon the cross. And when you accept the message of salvation and the free gift of eternal life, (see John 3:16) it has a way of showing up on your face.

After all, you are trusting in the One "whose face shone like the sun" (Matthew 17:2) when He was transfigured on a high mountain in front of Peter, James and John. Today, when a person receives Christ as Savior, you begin to have some of the Lord's brilliance shining from your face and your eyes. It is a supernatural reality for everyone who personally knows Christ as Lord and Savior.

When all is said and done, faces usually tell a pretty convincing story. And while the earthly story of Robin Williams has sadly come to an end, much of your story has yet to be written. And so in the words from Robin's character in "Dead Poets Society," go forth and "Carpe diem." That is, seize the day!

How you ask? Simple. Seek the face of the One who created man's face to be a reflection of his soul.

Dan Delzell is the pastor of Wellspring Lutheran Church in Papillion, Neb. He is a regular contributor to The Christian Post.

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