I share a common interest with psychopaths: watching people sleep. Though, I can’t be sure our motives for watching people are the same. And I don’t sneak into other people’s homes to engage in this activity; I have plenty of people right here under my own roof who get the joy of waking up to me staring at them.
I like to watch people sleep because while slumbering, human beings take on an almost ethereal quality. I’ve heard many describe a person in repose as angelic, but that’s not quite right. Angels are pure spirits and don’t have bodies that need rest. We are spirit and body so I think it’s more accurate to describe a sleeping human as looking very human. In fact, so human they look nearly like how God meant them to look when he created them as if the Fall hadn’t happened. Hence, the other-worldly quality to their appearance.
They are 100% themselves. There is no posturing, pretentiousness or presumption in a slumbering person. They display no pride. A dormant human has no anxiety, bitterness or despair etched on their faces. In contrast to these outward signs of our fallen nature, while sleeping, we are at peace. When our head hits the pillow, we humbly trust that we will be safe until we wake up. When we close our eyes, all that weighs heavily on us in our waking hours drops off of our faces. All that is left is the soothing sound of our rhythmic breathing and a serene countenance. I suspect it’s a sneak peak of how God sees us and, therefore, what we’ll look like when we’re perfected.
In fact, I’m sure God gives us these sneak peeks, or mini-Transfigurations, to give us something to look forward to. That is: an eternity of our faces looking – while awake – as they look – in this life – while we sleep. Imagine an existence in which we look humble, trusting, loving and at peace – all the time – because we feel that way internally – all the time. It is certainly an existence to anticipate.
I like to watch people sleep because it’s a beautiful thing to see someone as God sees them. It’s a little bit of a thrill to see them how they’re supposed to look , were their natures not fallen and how they’ll look for eternity, God-willing. And maybe, just maybe, these are all the things psychopaths are thinking about while they put lipstick on the sleeping person -in whose bedroom they don’t belong – and tell them that they’re “so pretty”.