The Art of God Watching

I do not look for God like an avid bird-watcher, clutching journal, Collins Bird Guide, binoculars and camera.

Instead, I clutch His Word,  lay hold of it as life-breath and read it with a reaching, expecting, blinding thirst that pleases.  Most days, the long drink at that well satisfies and I leave that place stronger.

But on the rough days, the beat up, battered, bruised heart days, often the clamour of hurt way too sensitive wrecks my hearing, and I find His voice to be faint, distant, jumbled.

On those days, when His Word can’t dent my dismay, I reach for God-sighted binoculars. As a long-devoted God-watcher, I trust He is near. On the sorrowing days, I reach deep into this long friendship between Him and I and breathe long prayers without words –

Please, Father
give me eyes to see
ears to hear
a heart to receive.

Then I wait
journey through.

Sometimes the wait is long – days, weeks, even seasons, as I search for His revelation, His heart, Him.

No matter how long or hard I watch, God always finds me first. Like a little girl, my heart squeals with sudden joy to be found by Daddy while I crouch low in my hiding place, hopeful for His daily return home.  Though my head knows God never leaves or forsakes, my heart sighs with relief when He finds me.

Recently Caleb, my fierce young son, drew his version of the Bible during a prayer meeting at church.

As Caleb began his explanation, blue-eyed serious, he shared “In the beginning, God made the whole entire world.”

Carefully I looked at Caleb’s drawing.

I love seeing God through my son’s eyes.

God is happy.

He is way bigger than the world He made.

Caleb’s God doesn’t look stern or stressed or ticked.

Caleb’s God looks pleased.

As I work through this experience of blogging blind to the nations, I have sought to understand why I write about God and this world He loves.  Like birders, I believe the rare find, the glory flash of the Evening Grosbeak’s yellow breast spotted in an unexpected spruce, must be shared to be truly enjoyed.

Blogging is a simple field journal, an attempt to share the joy of sudden sightings and perhaps point to where I saw Him last. Like a birder, I joy to point out His whispers, His hand, His recent glory flash to fellow watchers who understand the cost and reward of the pursuit. 
Yet the search must begin with a true description.  Looking for glory sightings from a God who is perceived angry, fickle, sullen will avail little results.  We are searching for God who made the whole entire world and happily. We search for the God of love, Who is kind, not angry, Who is very pleased to be found.

When I see and enjoy snow-drenched sunlit fields,the warmth of my daughter’s gaze, music done well, even sweet apple pie baked for love, God shifts the terrain beneath my feet, changing my landscape from bleak to beautiful with the understanding flash of another glorious God sighting.

In seeing God in life, that full-out assurance and celebration that the earth is indeed full of God’s loving kindness (Ps. 33:5), incredibly, we find peace.  There we find God and know Him a bit better.

Ann Voskamp would call this treasure hunt a joy dare. In her pursuit of daily gifts of grace she discovered that once sighted, these gifts must be celebrated. In her journey of celebration, she discovered God Himself, and there Joy came. One Thousand Gifts changed me, like precious salve for blind eyes and now I see differently.

Arthur Burk calls God sightings “glory stories”, merciful flashes of interruption as Father moves throughout our lives in His grace and kindness. In the video, Brain Rot, Arthur emphasizes how important celebrating God every day:

I want to assure you that failure to celebrate God, failure to look each day at what He is doing will leave you vulnerable to the initial stages of brain rot which can then take you down the downward spiral to a depraved mind.

Arthur then describes a servant mother who was very intentional in training her kids to find God daily. Apparently this mom was a marvelous cook. She plainly stated to her three boys, “No glory stories, no dessert.” Thus those young boys woke each morning  in hot pursuit for God,  focused all day long, looking for God with the reward of mom’s desert. Soon they  became a family well-trained in the daily discipline of celebrating God.

As I search for God in His creation, in kindness, unexpected circumstances, chance meetings, in His Word,   often I see God’s Hand, if not His face.

Sing joyfully to the LORD, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise him. 2 Praise the LORD with the harp; make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre. 3 Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy. 4 For the word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all he does. 5 The LORD loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love. 6 By the word of the LORD were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth. 7 He gathers the waters of the sea into jars; he puts the deep into storehouses. 8 Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the people of the world revere him.

The earth is full of God’s unfailing love.  We just need eyes, ears and the heart to see it.

O Lord Jesus, anoint our eyes, that we may see You everyday in the mundane, in the ordinary and extraordinary and that in finding Your love, we may be changed.

Frances Frangipani, esteemed writer recently stated on Facebook:

It is not hard to recognize one who has spent extended time at a newsstand: his conversation overflows with the drama of current news. And, it is not hard to discern a person who has come from a sporting event, as their face reveals the outcome of the game. Likewise, people can tell when an individual has spent extended time seeking the presence of God. An imperturbable calm guards their heart, and their countenance is radiant with the morning dew of Heaven.                        Beloved, to seek and find God is everything.

Have you been searching for God? Where have you found Him? What did you discover?