Remember when I talked about how I see God in Sirius Black? Well since then I’ve been keeping an eye out for other places where I see more God. I see who God is in church and in His Word and in prayer (oh, the prayer of some of my Dominican friends – so much heart and soul in those words) and in songs, but I see who God is in puppies and Facebook messages and made-up families on Netflix. I see God in books, both fiction and non-fiction, in my jiggly thighs when I dance, and right now I see God in my roommate washing the dishes.
So I’ve decided to start a new series on the unlikely (and also likely, depending on who you are and how you think) places where I see more of who God is. I used to think you could only learn about God by reading the Bible and going to church, which are two great things to do, but I’m learning that He shows up to me in my life in different ways than He shows up to you in your life and if we don’t talk about those showings-up, we’re missing out on what He has for us. So here’s the thing about this series: it’s starting today and lasting for however long I keep it up. You can expect “Where I See More God” type posts on Mondays for a while. (The obvious title for a series like this would be “God Sightings” but that sounds lame.)
This morning I read 1 Corinthians 12. Paul says that the Spirit of God gives us each different gifts and talents and abilities. Some people teach, some people prophesy, some people preach, some people paint, some people build things… We all have different gifts and abilities and interests but they all come from the same God and they are all given to us for the same good. Paul warns the Corinthian gang about comparing themselves to each other, about comparing their gifts or their jobs. Paul warns them about thinking more highly of themselves than they ought to. He also warns them against thinking more lowly of themselves than they ought to. You’re important, Paul says, but your neighbor friend is just as important.
Today I spied with my little eye more God in a man named Dr. Wes. Dr. Wes teaches the big kids (as I affectionately call the high schoolers, which in our case is 7th-9th grade) and is here to one day teach at our Bible College (which I’m super pumped to attend one day). He’s got a Dr. in front of his name, so you know he’s smart and went to a lot of school. He’s worked in the Christian school system for years so he is also experienced and well-informed. He knows his stuff is what I’m saying. And today I looked out my classroom window and I saw Dr. Wes in his t-shirt and sweatpants out on the cancha with the PE teacher, Mr. Moises. Dr. Wes came to school early today to help Mr. Moises teach the big kids volleyball.
Dr. Wes used his talents, his interests, and his experiences to run around a shadeless dirt patch with a bunch of kids he already has to see every day. He was more God to me, and to them I’m sure, as he shared his experience and knowledge with Las Palmas students.
One of the things that blows my mind about our God Who Sees is that everything He has for me prepares me for the next thing. All of those mission trips I went on and all those years I spent living in Westland prepared me for being around people who are different than me, opened my eyes to the value of diversity. All of those times I got peed on and bit at the daycare in Springfield prepared me for tough disciplinary situations at Las Palmas. Now I can tell my students, “You don’t know Tyree, but he was a rough and tumble little boy at Inside Out and if I got him to sit in time out, I’m surely going to get you to sit in time out.” All of those years I spent at Inside Out prepared me for Brooklyn and that summer I spent in Brooklyn prepared me for Indy. All of those conversations I had with bible study leaders who loved the hell out of me (literally loving me into the image of Jesus) prepared me for conversations with more leaders from YouthWorks and more leaders from Las Palmas. All those sleeping in sweaty bunk bed mission trip times prepared me for nights without electricity. All those conversations I had with my mom prepared me for the world in general (seriously, moms are the best) and all those converastions I had with Vicki about things like syntax and tongue placement during the pronunciation of certain phonemes prepared me to teach English better.
What I’m saying is, God uses what He’s given us. Or rather, He gives us the chance to use what we have. Whatever I’m doing now will be useful for the next thing. Which is exciting and intriguing and means I better pay attention. I see More of Who God Is in all the parts that make up who I am, in all the parts that make up who Dr. Wes is, and how we can use all of those different parts to do things that make God smile, to do things that make his kids, even the big kids, smile. I see More of Who God Is as I see more of who we are. And what I see is beautiful.