The Map

Sometimes, God makes no sound. Is He dead, or has He turned His face from us? Sometimes, when faith gets wrung from me, I sit outside and watch for Him in the sky, and in the trees that stand guard over our backyard.

In his prayers a month ago, Noah thanked God for healing all who we had asked of him…
“…except me,” his voice squeaked out. That’s the only time I’ve heard Noah complain—or notice—miracles in so many lives except his own. He did have one miracle, just not the big one we hope for, and in the enduring it’s easy to forget that silence doesn’t mean nonexistent.
Will this—however long this will be—keep my boy wondering if God hears him?

I pick up a book that’s been patiently waiting its turn on my growing pile: Falling into Place by Hattie Kauffman, news correspondent.

While on a drive, waiting for her soon-to-be ex-husband to leave the house, Hattie came upon a sixteen foot statue of Jesus overlooking a set of dumpsters on a college campus. After growing up hungry and neglected, she had to face cancer and alcoholism as an adult, and carried burdens she didn’t know how to handle. One night, she came upon this statue, wondering why it had been placed by the garbage heap. Shouldn’t it be in the center of campus?

Memories of her childhood are scattered throughout the book, like the day she was so hungry, and she found a peach to eat in a dead tree that stood in her yard. That moment, high in the tree’s branches, she felt a tangible presence wrap around her, and knew it was God. But hungry days and neglectful parents darkened her perspective. Anger draped its ugly wings over her eyes and ears. At age fifteen, while on the phone to her Aunt Teddy (a missionary), the one stable presence in her life, the bitterness of a hard life rushed out in her audible rejection of God.

But He pursued her. In a promise from a woman she interviewed for TV, through her Aunt Teddy, and in many things most of us would brush off as coincidence.

In her book, Hattie’s childhood memories are woven within her experience of going through divorce, and what we’re given is a map to God, one whisper at a time.

She learned to surrender, and to pray. Again, she gets in her car and drives to the trash heap to find the statue of Jesus.

“It suddenly seemed fitting that Jesus watched over the garbage dump—the junk of humanity.”

Is it You, God? A good question to consider when you suspect his whisper in unexpected places.


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