The first casualties of upheaval can be love, kindness, and patience. But crisis is also a moment when love for God & one another can spring up. For 150 days, starting on 17th March 2020, I will write 300 words based on one of the 150 psalms in the bible. How can I find and give love in the midst of coronavirus?

All it takes is a glance. From the right person at the right moment – just a look is enough to lift your heart, to encourage or to make you laugh. Across a busy and crowded room, someone you know can simply smile or raise an eyebrow – and it means so much. Even in a busy video call with a number of people, something can be said, and 2 people can ‘look at each other’ and smile a knowing smile.

A look, a glance, a smile from the right person can be so powerful. It can lift us, encourage, affirm or make us feel loved. It can be all we need.

Three times in our psalm, in the midst of disaster, we ask God to do just this:

Restore us, O God; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved.

Restore us, God Almighty; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved.

19 Restore us, Lord God Almighty; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved.

Make you face shine on us. The words are part of the blessing that the priests would speak over the Jewish people (see Numbers 6). It is a prayer for God to turn His gaze upon us – and a gaze of blessing.

As a budding cricketer, who desperately wanted to bowl, it was that moment when the captain turned to look at me and said: “Frostie, next over at this end.”. Yes, at last, a chance to put my skills to the test!

But God’s face turning to us is more than just an invitation for some blessing – some good luck. His face shines, it brings light. This means He is able to see us and to see inside us. He knows us, and when He looks at us we are encouraged, loved – but we are also known. This can be a challenge because when God knows us, He knows what we are really like. He knows the good, and also the bad. He knows what we are hiding.

When He sees us, He also wants to speak to us. So be careful asking God to shine His face on you. He will. It will encourage – but it is also a little scary because He really sees us, like no-one else, and He may well have something to say.

Restore us, God Almighty; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved.

God bless you today. Love Matt