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:
Dick Ryan, the director of Inter Varsity’s outreach to art students on campuses across the country, arranged for me to be part of the team that seeks to encourage professionals in art-related fields to mentor these young and eager creators. So the last week of January, after traveling in Mexico and then going on with my husband to visit sites for a film shoot in the Dominican Republic, I arrived at Armerding Hall on the campus of Wheaton College, with an active allergy that had been blasted into my system by the pollen, smog, car emissions, etc. that settles in the valley where the city of Santiago rests and doesn’t go away.
It was a wonderful day, and the lectures, conversations with other professional mentors, as well as exchanges with the art students, reminded me how little of this I have right now and how much I miss and need it. I also spent eight years of my life serving on the Inter Varsity Christian Fellowship board of directors, where I learned to know and love many of the IV campus staff. How wonderful to be interacting again, even briefly, with these young adults who’ve given up careers that could have been much more profitable financially in order to dialogue with and introduce Christ to the students in our country’s university systems.
At the end of the day, we were led in worship by a young man who played the harp. I have actually never seen this before—praise and worship music backed by harp music. He explained that all were welcome to bring their art discipline into the worship experience. Papers had been hung on the walls for those who chose to paint or draw. Musicians were invited to bring their instruments or voice to the platform and join in. “And if you dance, please feel free to dance in the aisles or up here with me.”
It took a little while for the arts students in the audience to warm up to the idea, but eventually some began working on the papers on the walls, a young woman took her violin from its case, and in time many of us were content to sit in our seats and join in the worship in our own way.
This whole Saturday, due to my very active allergy, I went through the schedule with a box of tissues in one hand and a pocketful of cough drops. As much as I enjoyed the day and luxuriated in the company of people with similar passions, I really needed to get home, dose myself with Nyquil and go to bed.
I noticed a young woman quietly dancing in a doorway. I could see her out of the corner of my eye, but she was hidden from most of the rest of the audience. Suddenly, a tall young black man stepped onto the stage and started to tap dance out his artistic discipline, turning it into worship. We all were electrified. He was beautiful; his movement was exquisite and holy. He had brought his tap shoes in case this opportunity presented itself.
The day ended with a prayer of blessing given by Michael Wilder, the Dean of the Music and Art Conservatory at Wheaton College, and then another prayer by myself.
Help these people to be true;
True to the vision of what You have meant them to be
And are helping them to become;
True to Yourself who is creating in them more than they
Could ever have dreamed or imagined;
True to others, with a kind of integrity that respects
How You have made us all different and unique;
And true to the community of the world into which
You seek to help us pour out our gifts and peculiarities.
Help them to be true.
Help them to be true.
In Christ’s name,
Help them to be true.
This prayer was designed on the spot as I was watching that young man tap-dancing during worship, being true to what it was God intended for him to be.
I went home, took Nyquil, hooked up the electric heating pad and went to sleep, but I was better in my soul because of that day, because of the arts professors and the Inter Varsity staff and the eager students and because of one lovely young man dancing before the Lord.
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.