Have you ever gone on a God Hunt? A God Hunt begins when you teach yourself to look for God’s hand at work in the everyday occurrences of your life. Here’s one of my personal God Hunt Sightings:
As I was passing through the living room this morning on my way to the outside to turn off the sprinkler that had been watering a side garden, I noticed with satisfaction that the gingerbread mantle-clock was still ticking. This clock suffers from a “balance deficit” and starts ticking when it is slightly askew on the chest where it sits. Any time the top is dusted and the clock is moved, even just a wee bit, it will stop.
So I have a six-inch level that I use to place on the ledges of the clock to make sure the bubbles that measure perpendicular and horizontal positions settle in between the two little marks that indicate balance. With that achieved, I wind the clock gears again, set the hands to the right time (with chimes marking every hour that I encircle), then I cross my fingers and start the pendulum swinging.
So far, the gingerbread clock has been ticking for two days, chiming on the hour, and as usual gaining minutes as the hands round the number VII on top. I know that inevitably the same routine will have to be repeated in seven days (if the clock stays in balance) but for today, I have a kind of joy that swells in me because once the clock was not working but now it is.
On the way to turn off the water, I noticed the hose box. For two summers the garden hose, which is long enough to stretch from the outlet on the east side of the house to the front garden, then across the street to water the new plants around the mailbox, has snaked neglected in whatever place it was last abandoned. Last summer I started to rejoin the connectors that hooked the box to a valve that turned off/turned on water flow, but the task (or maybe the mosquitoes) seemed daunting, and I abandoned the effort.
This summer, this summer, however, I had more determination, and wrestled for three hours with the stupid box, the hose connectors, the design for storage until (ah-hah!) all the connections held, nothing leaked, and I could turn a side handle competently enough to gather the entire length of the hose into the box the way it was intended to be used. I cleaned out the little storage box on top, resupplied it with watering accessories, closed the lid and there we were again—something that had been broken now was fixed. Cause for quiet triumph.
The little fountain in the front patio garden has proved to be my nemesis: I repair it, clean it, pray over it, shake it, turn it over, cement the leaks, clean the pump—and sometimes after all this effort, it even sprays water the way fountains are created to do. Last fall it was broken, this spring it decided to spray again, to all our delight (we turn it on with a switch in the front hallway), but when I went to secure the cords that connect the fountain to the outside outlet, again nothing happened.
This time I sat myself down and thought my way to a solution: The fountain had stopped burbling when I yanked the cord out of the mud. Perhaps something in the plug was wrong. I grabbed the Phillips screwdriver, unscrewed the tiny screws and sure enough, the wires had come loose. My high-school course in home repairs has often stood me in good stead as a homemaker and sure enough, once plugged in again, the fountain began pumping out a pleasant plume of water. I love to start the morning on this patio, with the fountain working, a cup of coffee in my hand, and my Bible and prayer journal on my lap.
There is something wonderful about broken things that get fixed.
In a early summer whirlwind of cleaning, I changed the bed linens from the winter ensemble to a brighter, lighter summer look. I washed the curtains and hung them on the line to dry, changed the bed skirt to a cotton percale, dusted the window and door frames, and in my flurry I carelessly broke the handle (which I had broken once before and David had glued on my mother’s aqua boudoir lamp). Then a hook pulled away from the wall where I hang summer leghorn hats, just for show, and a lingerie set that says, “You are in the bedroom”—again just for show. Sometimes it takes us months to get things fixed, but this week, the same week when these two items broke, David rehung the hook, glued the handle on the light (again) and then hung the magazine rack (an old hymnal rack taken off the back of a discarded pew) on the new vanity that was installed in the bathroom last December (see what I mean about some things taking time to get done?). He hung a shelf in the hall that also had pulled away from the wall, and every time—every time I pass these fixed things, I feel a tug of inner joy.
I wonder why this is so. Why do I feel glad when I see things that have been repaired? Perhaps it is because we were not meant to live in a broken world; broken things, a broken planet bespeak the fact that we are broken people. Subliminally, in that part of ourselves, the depths of ourselves, there is a truth that exists, a knowing that sometimes passes our active intellect. One day, Scripture promises, all things will be fixed. The broken places, the broken people will be mended. Broken relationships will be restored. Frayed people and ideas will be rewoven.
Fixed things, once in disrepair, renew this promise of perfection, remind us of what we know inside, and so we say, “Oh yes, it’s like new again. It has been mended. It has been fixed. I can be healed, like my old self again.”
We can be repaired. Wholeness is a delightful reality. My heart sings with joy when the clock chimes, the fountain bubbles, the hose rolls up, the shelf is hung again, the hook is secure, Mother’s lamp is mended.
Rejoice! Something ha been repaired. It works.
I spy God!
Award-winning author Karen Mains has long had an interest in spiritual formation and the obedient Christian walk. She has written about the God Hunt in her book by the same name, The God Hunt: The Delightful Chase and the Wonder of Being Found. A hardback copy can be ordered from Mainstay Ministries for $10.00 plus $4.95 shipping and handling. Contact Karen at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will be happy to autograph a copy for you.
Karen continues to write content for her Christian blog, “Thoughts-by-Karen-Mains.” In so doing, she desires to touch the lives of Christian women and men and help them find ways to walk closer with the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition, through silent retreats, spiritual teaching, women’s retreats, Christian vacation opportunities, and other ministry activities, Karen helps each Christian woman and man receive vital spiritual food.
Through her Hungry Souls ministry, Karen serves as a spiritual coach to many Christian women and men, and teaches a mentor-writing class. And, through the Global Bag Project, she is working to develop a network of African women who sew exquisite cloth reusable shopping bags, Africa bags. This micro-finance women opportunity helps provide a much-needed sustainable income for struggling African families. For more information on this critically important project, please click here.
For decades, Karen and her husband, David, have served God through religious communications—radio, television, and print publication. They are the co-authors of the Kingdom Tales Trilogy: Tales of the Kingdom, Tales of the Resistance, and Tales of the Restoration. To find many valuable resources for pastors and congregations at the Mainstay Ministries main website, please click here.
Likewise, pastors will find special resources to help them prepare effective, life-transforming Sunday sermons by visiting David Mains’ website by clicking here.