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:
I am so involved in ministry, sometimes I forget that at heart I am also an artist. This quality, I’m afraid, has taken a backseat to all the other ventures I have felt called to embark upon. I look forward to Heaven and hope God will appoint me a place at the feet of those artistic greats who did pursue the aesthetic calling in their souls. Me, I have to fit in artistry when I set a table or plant a garden or put together a retail-store ensemble that I wear to church or, on rare occasion, out to dinner.
But I received an e-mail recently from Dick Ryan, the head of the Inter Varsity Arts ministry. Could I possibly make a planning meeting for a gathering of arts students from all the disciplines scheduled at Wheaton College in January of 2013? He was going to try to contact a handful of various artists from the area who were professionals in their fields. The head of the Wheaton College Music Conservatory and Arts department would also be present, as he was co-sponsoring the Inter Varsity event.
Within three e-mail tries, we were all committed to a 1:30 afternoon meeting in the dean’s office at the Music Conservatory. And this happened within five days’ time—rather remarkable given everyone’s busy schedule.
In gatherings like this, I am reminded how much I miss being more a part of the arts community. I always feel like I’ve been speaking a second language, but when I’m with painters and print-makers and musicians and dancers who are passionate about their fields, I remember that now, now I am speaking my native tongue. This is such an amazing thing to me, to come home again, after traveling afar, to my country of origin, to the land of my aesthetic kin.
I’m not lonely for that country any more—though I used to be filled with intense nostalgia for my artistic kinfolk and did engage in some ridiculous efforts to hang onto the coattails of those who had a dedicated trajectory into theatre, film, creative studios, or to those who even taught in those fields.
I’m happy to do what I can for InterVarsity Arts—but mostly I count it a privilege to sit in the corners and listen to the struggles and discoveries and amazing journeys of those my artistic kinfolk whom I bless these days, even though it is from afar.
At least I am content with my artistry, such as it is—last week it was putting together the Advent Communion table, which shimmered with a wonderful deep-pink cloth and rich purple draping. The idea is that it will change and grow with each Advent week leading to Christmas. Next week, for Advent Two, we are adding a wine ruffle for the tablecloth to match the wine napkins that hold the bread, adding one deep-red pomegranate (a symbol of Christ) on each of the four Communion trays, and will start to wind the colors through the Advent wreath. For Week Three, we will add Communion pieces in all these colors—blue, purple, wine, pink and brown—to symbolize the patchwork quality, the uneven radiance of our lives together as the Body of Christ.
Perhaps 100 people will see this liturgical aesthetic expression of mine—maybe 20 will notice. But I am content, far away from my native country. A little artistry is enough for me these days. In my heart, it is a gift to my heavenly King—this round table—glowing softly under the gymnasium lights in the public grade school where we gather. It is for the Father Artist who sent his Creator Child in an enormous act of love with the plan for Him to lead us all back to the place where we really belong, that consummate Beautiful Land where we all long to be, where there is one common language, and we all will understand.
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.