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:
Turning 69 today, with a husband who is 75, has forced an unending round of discussions on the aging process. We are determined to traverse these years left to us as well as possible.
I do not want to bore people with a litany of aches and ills. I do not want to hear myself saying (as so many of my aged friends say), “It’s no fun growing old.”
David and I want to age with grace, laughing through the years that come, accepting the physical and mental disabilities as a gift to keep our human demise before our eyes in a way that is anticipatory, not morbid.
So when I self-diagnosed the numbness and pain in my feet that activates whenever I wear the wrong shoes as Morton’s neuroma, I acquiesced to the fact that aging inevitably brings its own physical limitations. “It is what it is,” I remind myself.
A day getting the house ready and cooking for guests causes me to hobble around like I have a couple of marbles taped to the pad of my foot beneath my second and third toes—on both feet. High heels, obviously, are out.
“Aren’t you ever going to wear heels again?” asked David. No, I explained, I would not be wearing heels probably ever again. “Just pray that I don’t end up wearing a pair of orthopedic shoes.”
Obviously, I am responsible for the care of my feet. So, I make sure that any shoe I wear is ultra-comfortable, and doesn’t—in any way—pinch my toes. I buy padded lifts and slip them into shoes and I never, never walk far unless I am wearing a good pair of walking shoes that absorbs the impact of flesh on pavement. I have learned to be careful when trekking over uneven terrain.
This summer, on a 50th Wedding Anniversary trip to Italy, observing all the above precautions, we walked miles every day without the Morton’s neuroma acting up, crippling me and forcing me to spend a day in a hotel room off-itinerary. Maybe the ugly orthopedic shoes aren’t such a sure thing after all.
The other morning, however, during a prayer time, I had a totally unexpected thought. Why didn’t I use the stepping-on-marbles like pain as a reminder of the wounds of Christ? Why, when I was forced to take off a shoe because of aching feet, didn’t I intentionally remember that nails were pounded through His feet as He was impaled to the Cross. Certainly, as He pressed down against them in order to force His torso upward so His cramped lungs could suck in air, the nail-holes tore and worried the flesh and ligaments. Why didn’t I transform this minor discomfort on my own aging process into an intercessory remembrance of how Christ suffered and of how others suffer in the world?
So I have been attempting to do this work. Unlike St. Francis and other remarkable saints, I have never prayed for the stigmata, actual wounds in the flesh that come from intense and close identification with His death and suffering, but I can do this. I can look at this sometime discomfort as a gift.
Perhaps I have discovered a path forward to deal better with the inevitable signs of old age that will bring me joy in the process of physical decline.
God is in all things, even these thoughts on my 69th birthday.
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.