Faces

[September 14, 2016]

I saw two photos recently that I found arresting.

2016-09-13_1632

From:  https://www.nationalreview.com/article/438841/dr-denis-mukwege-healer-war-torn-congo

Dr. Denis Mukwege is a doctor in Congo, where there is an epidemic of, a craze for, rape. All ages, all across the culture, there is a war of males against females. Dr. Mukwege tries to repair the damage done to little girls. Think twice before reading the article, because it’s heartbreaking.

But look at this face! It is a novel. You could go on and on reading it. Deep sorrow and deep knowledge of the evil people can do, even to children. I feel, looking at it, that I am seeing how Jesus looked when he saw Mary and Martha and their friends weeping over Lazarus. He was deeply angered and troubled, seeing all the malice and evil of Death, and the pain felt by those left behind throughout history. Jesus could raise Lazarus, but all that evil still had happened; it could not be erased.

You see in this doctor’s face both the hideous nature of what he’s seen, and his strong heart and profound compassion. He has so much compassion that he goes right back in every day, doing what he can to help suffering girls, even though it tears him apart.

Then this photo, which is in a way the opposite:

jerryandpattywetterling
From: https://www.startribune.com/read-the-statement-from-jacob-wetterling-s-parents/338430302/

These are the parents of a 10 year old boy abducted and murdered in 1989. They have been in the news because the murderer finally confessed and led police to his body.

What’s so arresting here is that the faces are alike. Over years, through all the pain, these two looked into each others’ faces so habitually that they came to think alike, feel alike, be alike. They are united. They are mirrors.

After the death of a child, 80% of marriages fail. But these two were winners. They figured out how to love and carry each other. And notice this: there is a very faint smile. They won. They were attacked y the greatest evil parents can go through, but they loved each other so strongly that it carried them over the finish line.

Frederica Matthewes-Green

About Frederica Matthewes-Green

Frederica Mathewes-Green is a wide-ranging author who has published 10 books and 800 essays, in such diverse publications as the Washington Post, Christianity Today, Smithsonian, and the Wall Street Journal. She has been a regular commentator for National Public Radio (NPR), a columnist for the Religion News Service, Beliefnet.com, and Christianity Today, and a podcaster for Ancient Faith Radio. (She was also a consultant for Veggie Tales.) She has published 10 books, and has appeared as a speaker over 600 times, at places like Yale, Harvard, Princeton, Wellesley, Cornell, Calvin, Baylor, and Westmont, and received a Doctor of Letters (honorary) from King University. She has been interviewed over 700 times, on venues like PrimeTime Live, the 700 Club, NPR, PBS, Time, Newsweek, and the New York Times. She lives with her husband, the Rev. Gregory Mathewes-Green, in Johnson City, TN. Their three children are grown and married, and they have fourteen grandchildren.

Essays

One comment:

  1. All three synoptic gospels clearly indicate Christ's reaction to harming children, equally furious at such transgressors' actions and sorrow beyond belief for the children. Truly, Dr Mukwege has taken on His cross.

    FMG: Amen.

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