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 every day occurrences of your life. Here’s one of my personal God Hunt Sightings:
Linda Richardson from Wheaton, Illinois, is a speech therapist, specializing in work with autistic children in the public school system. She tells of assisting a new five-year-old student, Wendy, to adjust to the unfamiliar environment of the classroom. How was this to be done since the child was without language? Linda and her colleagues devised a visual schedule that would lead Wendy through her day using pictures and symbols placed strategically on a chart. With this tool, Wendy seemed to settle comfortably into the routine—that is, until her father came to pick her up at the end of the class.
At this time the little girl went into a frantic panic reaction. She kicked and screamed, and it took three adults to carry and place her in the family car. Through years of working with autistic children, Linda has learned to follow the rule: Don’t just do something; stand there. This is the opposite of the natural helping instinct: Don’t just stand there, do something. The quick reaction is often the wrong reaction for children with autism.
What had caused this extreme behavior, and how could the child be helped? The teachers needed to stop, think empathetically, then get inside the child’s mind and emotions.
Linda, a devout Christian, and her professional team of colleagues devised one further symbol to cue the child about the end of class. On the visual schedule they pasted a picture of her father. When he pulled up outside the school to pick up his daughter, Wendy was shown the picture. Not only was there no kicking and screaming, Wendy would cry out, “Papa!” when her father arrived (despite the fact that most children with autism do not greet spontaneously). Then she walked to the car quietly and got in.
The God Hunt helps us become familiar with God’s “face” as He interacts with our everyday world. Once we begin to say to ourselves—“Oh, yes that is the way God is. That is how He acts.”—once He becomes a familiar face, we don’t find ourselves kicking and screaming when we look into the unknown. The Divine Papa is near (He is always near); we don’t need to be afraid.
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.