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:
This week Karen is in the Dominican Republic directing a film shoot for Medical Ambassadors International. She would appreciate your prayers as you read these blogs. Filming in another country, on a low budget and without knowing the language can be tricky indeed. Shoot crews are well aware of their need for God’s help. Thank you.
Our “Read and Intercede” book club meets the second Sunday of each month. The assignment for last week’s reading was A Grain of Wheat by Kenyan writer Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o. It is a powerful book that deals with four days leading up to Kenya’s Uhuru—Independence Day.
Because I had been laid low by an allergy, I hadn’t been able to read the book, so on Sunday afternoon, the day of our nightly monthly meeting—I gobbled the pages, realizing I was violating the principle of good reading. A great book deserves to be chewed slowly; without a doubt this was a great book.
Bruce Duncan led the discussion. His questions helped us see things we hadn’t seen and to think about things we hadn’t thought about. I was so intrigued by the characters, the construction and the narrative, that I finished the last two chapters early in the wee hours of Monday morning—a nap had crowded out my afternoon hours on Sunday—after the thirty-some people in our small group left after a pancake breakfast.
Then as David was dressing, I read aloud the Introduction by Abdulrazak Gurnah. This writer explicated A Grain of Wheat with provocatively powerful comments about colonialism—many of which are entirely appropriate to today.
Gurnah talks about the rising British District Officer (DO) John Thompson, who loses his idealism through the corrupting practices he employs as the commander of a detention camp in which 11 inmates die of torture. “From idealist he becomes a torturer, forcing confessions out of the detainees by any means possible, because that is the true meaning of colonial rule. Like Kurtz (in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness) Thompson comes to learn that violence and coercion are his unavoidable means. … Thompson, then, is offered not only as a critique of colonial methods but of the whole narrative of imperialism, which prefers the grandiose, lying language of progress to the ‘horror’ of its actual practice.”
“Oh my,” I said to my husband who was standing at the bathroom sink, shaving and listening as I read. “Is this any different than what we are facing in America today? The words we use about our ideals are belied by the reality of the way we treat each other.”
Then I came across a quote I just had to write out in my prayer journal. (I mentioned this quote in a previous blog post.) The character Marlow, in Joseph Conrad’s Lord Jim, remarks, “It is my belief that no man ever understands quite his own artful dodges to escape from the grim shadow of self-knowledge.” Psalm 51 says the same thing, in a different way: “Surely you desire truth in the inner parts, you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.”
Out of an evening of discussion, and a short reading in the morning, the Lord gave me two gifts—one a powerful critique of our modern societies’ ways of telling stories about themselves that keeps them from facing their own reality. The other is a powerful encapsulating of our whole human dilemma of delusion. That one I used in a donor letter and a blog (see February 19th).
Thank you, God, for shaking my thinking (and giving me something to write about).
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.