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:
On December 22, 2012, the day after the earth was supposed to end according to some interpretations of Mayan prophecies, I woke to an exquisite sunny winter day. Still here, I thought to myself, kind of smug in realizing that nothing bad, at least in the worldwide cataclysmic way, had happened.
Drought and famine and superstorm Sandy, the warming of the planet, and the slaughter of children in Newtown and in the inner city of Chicago, the bloody resistance in Syria—all these calamities were still with us, but the world had not come to an end. In fact, the sun warming the dining room window felt as though it might be the serene face of God reminding us, See, there was nothing to worry about. I am still in control of end-time scenarios. Trust me. I’ll let you know when you really need to worry.
For a moment watching the sunshine, it felt as though God might be smiling. He had not, despite the disasters and distresses, vacated his territory.
I was reminded of this again while at the bank, making a deposit, not at the poles with their pneumatic canisters, but at the open-down window where you can actually talk with the cashiers, not just to their voices.
While pulling in, I noticed that the car in front of me had parked in my lane, a little beyond the window. I slipped my deposit under the clip that keeps papers from blowing in any chance wind and thought, Now, if he stays parked there, how will I get out? Can I back up and go through the ATM machine lane?
The driver, an older gentleman, a little ragged around the edges, slightly disheveled and a bit stooped, approached the window where I was parked, then hesitated and finally went to one of the pneumatic poles where he pressed the TALK button. I could clearly hear his voice, “Excuse me. I think you gave me too much money. I cashed a check for $320. I think I have $340.” Then several times he repeated, “Just don’t want to cheat you folk.”
The little drama played out in front of me. I could see two tellers examining his papers, then one woman used the Intercom. “No you’re good.” And she made some further explanation that I couldn’t hear. Again, he said, “Just didn’t want to cheat you folk.” And slightly embarrassed, one last time, “Just didn’t want to cheat you.” Then he limped away to his parked car and drove off.
This little incident happened a couple days after the Newtown school massacre. My heart was much heavier with this horror than with any improbable thoughts that the world might end on December 21st (indeed, for some parents, the world as they knew it has ended). That little man couldn’t possibly have known it, limping off, slightly embarrassed that he had made such an obvious error, but he had comforted my heart. See, small acts of goodness still existed and I had just unintentionally witnessed one. “Just didn’t want to cheat you folk.” Unsung, unrewarded integrity had stood before me in the guise of a common man.
I always try to do the word puzzles in the USA Today daily newspaper that still gets tossed into the driveway at our house. I leave the Crossword Puzzle alone—it takes too much time—and David generally tackles the Sudoku Puzzles. In five minutes or less, however, I can usually knock off the Quickcross, the Up & Down Words, the Don’t Quote Me, and the Word Roundup. I look at this as exercise for the brain.
Sometime around the potential doomsday scenario, sometime around the horror of the school massacre, the Don’t Quote Me section had a saying from Amelia Earhart. I had to fill in the blanks. It went something like this: “Each small act of goodness is like a tree that sends its seeds into the world and everywhere they land, more goodness is the fruit.”
God smiled after the doomsday didn’t happen—only He knows that secret, and a little disheveled man reminded me that there are people who maintain a moral compass in the natural course of their days. They will go to great lengths to rectify a wrong—even one that is minor. Through them the seeds of goodness are spread throughout a sometimes terrifying world. One landed in my own heart.
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.