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:
Last week, I had meetings at Second Presbyterian Church in Memphis, TN. I’m not much on the road speaking these days, just enough to remind me how much I love the teaching process. I had spoken in this church some 25 years ago (my hostess even offered to let me watch a DVD of my talk, which I declined). I always love being in the South—my father’s family was a southern clan, and in present visits southward I am always reminded of them and of my girlhood days sitting around listening to their laughter, to their music and their stories.
The strangest thing is happening to me in this, my 69th year of life; I am being thrust into a variety of settings, none of my choosing, that are evoking earlier decades of my living. My journey to Memphis was one. The committee who had invited me 25 years ago (when I was 44) hosted a private dinner for this year’s committee. We shared a lovely evening (again with memory fragments of my ancestors whispering from the back corners of my mind).
Since most of us at that dinner table were in the grand parenting years, we told what names our grandchildren called us and how those names had been chosen. The stories were enchanting. We laughed and became acquainted enough in this evening to wish we had time to get to know one another better.
The home where I was a house guest of the Pratt family was also hosting a large affair later in the week for some 40 members of the local board of the Alzheimer’s Association. My hostess, Donna Pratt, laughingly talked about her efforts to nurse along a bouquet of flowers she’d snatched from another event hosted by her sister. I thought it was typical of southern hospitality for her to take me in, look after my needs, pick me up from and take me back to the Memphis airport and then hold a huge dinner for 40 on Thursday evening.
I picked up a cookbook in her kitchen and began to leaf through its pages. “Oh, my son-in-law has photographs in one of the sections,” she explained. She turned to his work. The title on the cover was Wild Abundance. The book was a compilation of recipes from hunt clubs of the South—hardly something I’d pick up in any friend’s kitchen here up north. Do we even have hunt clubs?
I copied a recipe for “Slow-Cooked Rutabaga” since I love root vegetables and often serve a white platter of them at Thanksgiving. Here it is:
1 large rutabaga, peeled and diced
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1/2 C lard or vegetable oil
1/3 C sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
Put all the ingredients in a double boiler or slow cooker on low heat. Slow cook for several hours until very tender. Serve with melted butter and a sprinkling of chopped parsley.
Sometimes, now that I am beginning the aging process, I wish I could revisit the people I knew in my childhood and see them now through adult eyes. I would love to know more about how they lived and what they were thinking and how to be wise. I would love them to tell me these things, now that I can understand.
Then there are moments, like in Memphis, where I revisit those long-ago gathering times, the family potlucks, the conversations spoken with the soft-voiced telling (always accompanied by wry, sardonic, time-tested humor) of a people comfortable with their region and geometry and associations. And I go back into something that is not quite nostalgia and it is certainly not regret: We can’t be old when we are young. One day, Memphis and these friends remind me, we will be all together again, and there will be time, more than enough time, to get to know one another better—and to understand. That thought is a comfort.
However, I have been invited by these Memphis friends, to attend the Nashville Antiques and Garden Show, an annual event held in January each year. Since my birthday is on the 18th and Donna Pratt’s is on the 23rd, we just might go. In such encounters and in such plans are friends made. The circle of our connections goes forward and expands; this speaks that we will be together—one way or another.
Hunt club or not, I think I’ll pick up rutabagas today.
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 email@example.com 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.