Reflecting on the face of Mary, the mother of God, is a takeaway for me after a recent trip to Rome, Italy. After touring the Vatican, Saint Peter’s Basilica and the famous Uffuzi Gallery it’s hard to ignore that the nativity scene is a popular renaissance subject. I also noticed how how the face of Mary is depicted tells you about the artist. During a tour I learned that Michelangelo’s sculpture The Pieta was critiqued because her showed Mary’s face as too young in his sculpture and that she could scarcely be the mother of a 33-year-old son. Michelangelos response was simply Mary would not have aged as other women did and this became the only piece of work on which he signed his name.

How others look at our face can be reflective too. I wear my thoughts on my face when it comes to processing a situation, often sighing. The heavier the sigh, the more challenging the thought. When I realized my kids were picking up on this, they processed my contemplation as stress. This led me to considering my reactions, switching to a place where I am able to speak joy in my answers. I also encouraged my kids to always ask if they read my face with a problem, the answer could be as simple as the traffic or a schedule change. 

Tapping into the joy of the Lord as a response is critical. I really believe that God is for you and me, and his joy is an inexhaustible place of strength. Will you memorize Romans 8 with me? It’s replacing my sighs. 🙂

“But the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he that raised up Christ Jesus from the dead shall give life also to your mortal bodies through his Spirit that dwells in you.”

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