They will see His face. ~ Revelation 22:4, NIV

When I was in my early elementary school years, my family lived in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, where my father was the general surgeon at Bella Vista Hospital. While my father enjoyed the challenges of diverse types of surgery, he obtained the most joy from reconstructing the features of children with cleft palates. I can remember seeing frightening 35 mm slides of these poor kids before the operation – and then seeing the “after” pictures, with the amazing smiles of both the children and their parents. The delight my father took in transforming their faces made life more meaningful for him.

In many places around the world, parents still respond to the stigma of a disfiguring cleft palate by hiding their children away from society. By the time these children become adolescents, they have acquired the habit of hiding their faces from their peers.

Since the Fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, the damaging effects of sin have caused humankind to avoid the society of God – to hide our disfigured hearts from the One whose compassion is boundless and who loves us with an everlasting love. When we read John 1:14 (NKJV), however, we are reminded that God’s loving disposition toward us moved Him to action that would eradicate this estrangement: “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” More than two thousand years ago, people living in Palestine were able to once more commune with God face to face. This brief moment in history provided a preview of the glorious future of the redeemed, described in 1 Corinthians 13:12 (NIV): “We shall see [Him] face to face.”

Our Master Surgeon, Jesus Christ, extends to us His grace gift – the opportunity to have our disfigured hearts and sinful natures transformed. Our delight will know no bounds when we one day stand fully reconstructed in the presence of the One who gave all “to make man whole.” And when we get to heaven, we will know the greatest joy of all: “We will see His face.”

Dwight Evans, LLUSM class of 1973-B, is associate professor in LLUSM department of medicine and is assistant dean for veteran affairs for LLUSM.