Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:1-2
“I spy!” In this favorite children’s game, everyone loves to find. Clues given by whoever is ”it” lead you closer to the answer. Karen Mains, in her book, The God Hunt, turns this game into a lifelong treasure seeking tool. She writes, “the rules insist that participants take initiative to seek after the Almighty, that we humans exercise intention and looking for him in the everyday, that we choose to seek him in the commonplace.” She elaborates on four easy ways to do this: obvious answers to prayer, any unexpected evidence of his care, any help to do God’s work in the world, or an unusual linkage or timing. I’ve kept a journal of these “sightings”, these “I spy you God” moments over the years. I’ve noticed them in my life and I’ve tried to notice them in the lives of others. Then, I am able to share with that person and we can both rejoice in God’s presence and intervention in our lives.
In the parables for this week there is a lot of “I spy” happening. The Prodigal Son story reads, “but while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him, he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him” (Luke 15). ‘But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion” (Luke 10). When Jesus raised the widow’s son to life again, “he saw her, and had compassion on her” (Luke 7). By the seashore “he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things” (Mark 6). Jesus sees us and feels compassion. For us to live in the way of Jesus is to see others the way God does, feel his compassion for them and move toward them in love.
How can you begin to notice more? Start by studying an object around you. Then take out a piece of paper and with your eyes closed, draw it with as many details as you can remember. You could take a photography or nature course; they train you to look. I started taking pictures of flowers close up. Use Karen Mains’ suggestions and start looking for signs of God at work in your life and in others. He is there every day and in many, many ways, waiting for you to discover him. Pray about picking two people today, and carefully observe them for awhile and then comment on what you notice about them: “I notice ____________about you.”
By Donna Burns