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:
It was April in Kenya, the season of the long rains; rain is falling all over the country, ending a severe suffering of dryness. It runs along the road in torrents (where does it all go?). My working trip extended to 18 days and water fell in drizzles and mists and deluges every single day. But the Kenyans do not complain. “We need the rain,” they say. “It is raining all over the country.” Drought brings incalculable suffering. The Maasai have brought their herds of cows into town; they are grazing by the roadsides and nudging the mounds of garbage in the slums seeking out edibles.
I once wrote about this in my book The Fragile Curtain:
“The great dog drought will stretch out upon Massailand. He will roll down upon the pampas of the Great Rift Valley, which incises Africa nearly west to east. He will rub his huge back on the concave floor that slopes up to the mountains: Kilimanjaro, Kenya, Meru, and Lengai.
“Then he will trot to the precious watering holes and lap them dry; he will drink and empty the seasonal rivers. His ribbed belly will plop upon the land, suffocating the vegetation. He will pant hot breath over Kenya and Tanzania, the historic grazing territory of the Maasai. Then he will sleep, a slumber not to be disturbed. He will not be wakened.
“Old dog drought is sleeping now in the East Horn of Africa.”
Some of the Westerners have been complaining about the days of rain (interspersed with bright cleansed blue skies and warming sun). The mud is everywhere; our shoes are caked; the slums with only dirt paths are miserable. But I am old enough at 69 and enough of a gardener to know that the torrents are a blessing. So I thank God, along with my Kenyan brothers and sisters, for this damp grace.
The drivers we hire clean their cars inside and out every day, but when we clamber into the back seat, we muddy the mats. It is impossible to keep shoes clean when walking on muddy red-clay paths. Several days ago we got caught in a squall running to the van. I was talking on a borrowed cell phone, ducking the puddles and trying to find firm footing as we left Heshima Ministries, which offers physical therapy to 16 severely disabled children and provides work for their mothers through Dignity Designs, a jewelry-making enterprise. It was impossible to stay dry; too much rain, too much red-clay mud, too many potholes. I finally gave up trying to be cautious and just trampled like a naughty child through the puddles. My shoes were soaked.
I accosted an African man on the path outside the dining room in the Kijiji Guest House area where we stay when in Kenya, “How do you keep the mud off your shoes? Yours are so clean and mine are so muddy.”
“Oh,” he said (the Africans are so accommodating to rude and obtrusive Americans). “We wipe our shoes like this.” Instead of wiping his feet from front to back on the grass he twisted his shoe side to side. Then he hit the back of the heel on the grass. “But the mud on your shoe is dry. It has to be wet mud.”
So I have been twisting my muddy shoes on the grass. They are almost as clean in this rainy seasons as those of my Kenyan friends.
But this muddy-shoe discussion did give me an idea. What if most Westerners, used to paved walks and roadways, are as clueless as I? What if Kijiji offered a shoe-cleaning service? Leave your muddy shoes outside the door at night, like some of the higher-end hotels, and charge something like 100 Kenyan shillings ($1.25 at today’s exchange). That’s not much for one pair of shoes, but in the rainy season, with a full guest house, it could add up as part of the never-ending search for multiple income streams. The shoes would appear by the door in the morning.
Linette, the Kijiji guest-room manager, thought this was a good idea. You see, the Kenyans have noticed the muddy shoes of the Westerner.
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.