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:
We spent a night out with friends this last week, introducing them to a little French restaurant in the western suburb of Lombard, Illinois. We love this little restaurant, which has eight tables at the most. It is a creperie with buckwheat savory crepes for the main course and wondrous sweet crepes for dessert. Then because the evening that we dined out was also lovely summer evening, and to continue our celebration of things French, we invited our friends to come home and watch the great French comedic caper The Dinner Game (with subtitles, of course) that David and I enjoy viewing from time to time.
As our friends left, we all were laughing at the enchanting film with surprising moral meaning, standing and chatting at the front door and the door was closed. When they were gone, and we had walked to the driveway to say goodbye, I thought about how wonderful it is to share life with friends. An almost physiological warmth suffused me—that lovely feeling of connection, of caring about one another, of being complete in some way for that moment.
In his brilliant book How to Read a Poem, Edward Hirsch writes about the Greek origin of the word symbol symbolon, meaning one half a knucklebone carried as a token of identity to someone who has the other half. “Aristophanes in Plato’s Symposium writes, ‘Each one of us is but the symbolon of a human being—sliced in half like a flat fish, two instead of one—and each pursues a never ending search for the symbolon of himself.’”
Hirsch continues the thought: “Each of us is riven in half. Each of us is a seeker in quest of fulfillment. Desire for the other means we are not entirely sufficient, not entirely whole unto ourselves! We need each other. There is no poetry without desire. A lover in quest of the beloved is one half of a knucklebone.”
How interesting that our longing for human communion is so impelling. Shared food at a delightful French bistro on the edge of Chicago, in a little town known as a working-class suburb; a lovely summer evening with the greening of June days and nights all around; shared laughter at the suave incongruities of foreign films—these are all knucklebone fittings. For brief and engaging moments we know one another, accept one another, enjoy one another. We are symbolons to each other, metaphors of a kind of holy connection that mirrors what God wants us to have—a child-like happy pleasure in eating and chatting and laughing and playing in a kind of unity that foreshadows something more that will be.
For truly He is the God of knucklebones, Creator of this jointly fit-together idea, a knob within a hollow.
“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; in whom all the building fitly framed together unto an holy temple in the Lord; in whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.”
—Ephesians 2:18-22, KJV.
Aristophanes had nothing over this idea: In friendships, jointly fitted together, 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.