1 Kings 19:12: And after the earthquake came a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire there was a still small voice.
I don’t know if you’ve ever thought about how many emotions we can convey with our faces. You’re in luck, because I can tell you that we can show about 20 emotions, They are happiness, sadness, fearfulness, anger, surprise, disgust, happy surprise, happy disgust, sad fear, sad anger, sad surprise, sad disgust, fearful anger, fearful surprise, fearful disgust, angry surprise, angry disgust, surprised disgust, hatred, and awe. I’d bet you’d never thought of some of these combinations, much less how they’re expressed.
So-called “micro expressions” are also part of the realm of facial and other expressions. We’ve all used them: they’re brief expressions, usually facial, which give anywhere from a hint to a good idea to what the person using the expression is thinking or feeling. A widely used and easily read example occurs when someone rolls their eyes. If it’s just part of a roll, it’s a micro expression, although the shorter version is rarely used by teenagers since they want their feelings fully understood.
My favorite micro expression is the “eyebrow flash,” which involves raising both eyebrows and then turning them quickly to their rest position. People using these may also smile, and generally no words are spoken but the message gets across. This expression is used after we’ve greeted someone at church or work for the first time. If we come across them again soon, we don’t repeat our entire greeting. Instead, the people involved use an eyebrow flash to indicate that they are still glad to see the person and that they have already completely greeted them. For homework, you can see if you can think of other micro expressions and maybe be aware of when they’re being used.
I was also thinking of micro expressions in the Bible, those small signs that God uses to convey messages. The birth of Christ is one example. In this experience, an obscure peasant girl gave birth to a baby. At the same time, the birth was attended by angels singing to shepherds and giving them the good news. In this case, God used the still small voice of the birth to convey a start to His message for the world and also the glory of the heavenly host to announce it.
We all have small signs that God gives us, and it is important that we be alert to them. At the same time, we experience the grandeur and glory of God in a way that is hard to miss. With both, we need to respond to what God is trying to tell us. Praise God for small and large signs, for this season of the year, for the birth of His Son, and for his sacrifice on the cross which gave us new life, now and forever. Amen.