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 couldn’t contain myself. I just had to brag a little to someone. So I punched in the number of my daughter Melissa’s cell: “Your son Ayden and his cousin Elias have been sitting in front of the Chagall stained-glass windows here at the Chicago Art Institute for 45 minutes. I just said to them, ‘Shall we go get lunch?’ Both boys protested, ‘Do we have to? Can’t we stay longer?’”
“I just had to call and tell somebody. I’m good. I’m really good.” Words like this can be spoken only to a daughter who loves you.
Still, as many time as I have taught people how to “read” great paintings, even I was impressed by the boys’ interest. As other viewers paused for a few moments to study “The America Windows” by Marc Chagall, then shuffled onto other galleries, my grandsons, ages 12 and 11, were still working on “reading” the work of art.
I had bought them both sketch-pads, good fine-line felt-tip pens and introduced the stained-glass work by pointing out the organization of the windows. There were three major windows, each divided into two panels, making six windows in all, each with a theme. Then all six panels were further divided into blocks, which contained all the painted and fired stained glass pieces.
I asked the boys to draw what they saw in the windows on their pads. After 45 minutes, Ayden was still working on the first panel. Elias was still engaged in capturing the architecture of the scheme.
We left, finally, to go down to the cafeteria for lunch with both boys saying, “Can we spend more time there?” The teacher in me says this is a really good time to stop—while eagerness is still active and before anything like boredom begins to set in.
As I sat on the floor with the boys, however, Ayden and I began to see things in the stained-glass that we hadn’t seen earlier. The first panel was about music. We found two more fiddles and discovered the artist’s signature, “Marc Chagall,” in the lower right-hand corner. We had reached the point in this viewing/“reading” exercise where the artwork tells us what it is, speaking forth its own life for any who care to look/read/listen.
All those people shuffling past saw next to nothing. They didn’t understand the contemplative principle: The longer you look, the more you see.
Simply, seeing takes time. We miss the work of God in the world and in our own lives because we don’t slow down, pen and paper in hand, and record the way He intervenes in our days.
I got so much out of this viewing exercise with my grandsons, that the next time I go to the Art Institute, I’m taking my own sketchbook and good fine-line felt-tip pen.
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.