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One-a-Day...for the Heart: "The Look"

Non-verbal communication is powerful. The study of body language, called kinesics, analyzes facial expressions, gestures, and body movements. A nod of the head, raising an eyebrow, or rolling the eyes can communicate much more than words. A wink, for example, can be a non-verbal gesture of agreement or approval. It can also be a flirtatious gesture or a creepy advance. So much can be communicated in an instant with just a glance.

I became aware of my father’s non-verbal communication from an early age. He was a loving, caring father with great wisdom and a wonderful sense of humor. But one thing my siblings and I did not need a body language expert for was to analyze “The Look” my dad gave us on certain occasions. “The Look” needed no words. It didn’t need sound, arm gestures, or any form of body movement. “The Look” carried undeniable, almost tangible authority, and commanded our undivided attention and response. “The Look” occurred when we were misbehaving or on the verge of doing something childish and foolish. All my father had to do was give us “The Look,” and we froze. Attitudes changed, childish behavior slid into a puddle of humiliation, and even tears could well up, depending on the level of guilt and remorse. “The Look” was an effective parental tool my father used to quietly adjust or change our behavior without saying a word.

God doesn't miss a thing — He's alert to good and evil alike, Proverbs 15:3 (MSG) says. It seemed like my father didn’t miss a thing either, but in reality, he wasn’t omniscient or omnipresent, so he did miss seeing and adjusting some of our mistakes and misbehavior. God doesn’t miss a thing. With a gentle nudge of His Holy Spirit, we can sense “The Look” of our Heavenly Father adjusting or correcting us. Lightning bolts and fire don’t need to fall on us. The Lord should rarely if ever, have to use earthquakes and rumblings to get our attention.

So how does He get our attention? Ordinary things like the troubles we face in life often cause us to do soul-searching and reach out to the Lord for help. Marital discord, financial woes, rebellious children, and sickness are some negatives that can bring us to our knees in prayer. But the kindness of the Lord is also a very effective way He connects with us.

Romans 2:4 (NLT) reminds us that the kindness of God leads us to repentance. Don't you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can't you see that His kindness is intended to turn you from your sin? Kindness softens our hearts. Often it’s easy to maintain a stiff upper lip when harsh or unkind words are said, but what melts our hearts is when kind words or compassion are expressed. So it is when the Lord touches our lives with His kindness and compassion.

Since our Heavenly Father is omniscient and omnipresent, He sees and rewards our positive responses to His gentle correction, for the eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right, and His ears are open to their prayers (1 Peter 3:12 NLT). I’m glad He’s always looking, and I’m just as thankful for “The Look” of my Heavenly Father as I am for His kindness. Both are effective ways our heavenly Father communicates His love to us.

© 2022, Chris Werre

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