This week my kids are at Vacations Bible School (VBS). And thank God for VBS--I mean that sincerely! They love the activities and being with new friends and I love the space 5 mornings in a row to work, rest and see my own friends.
One of the things my kids are learning this week is to be on the look out for "God sightings." VBS ends each day gathering the kids together for a short recap of the day and on Wednesday I arrived a few minutes early and got to listen in as I was standing in a dark hallway adjacent to where the kids were gathered. A woman from the front asked the room full of kids if any had God sightings they wanted to share. Immediately more than half of the kids raised their hands with urgency, hoping to be called on and their responses were beautiful: someone sharing with someone else, butterflies, fun days with friends, nature... Then one kid said, "I get bullied a lot on the bus and so I see God when someone on the bus is nice to me when others are mean."
Cut to me in the dark hallway trying unsuccessfully to blink back tears. In an instant, I was overwhelmed with sadness as I was confronted with the reality of bullying and also filled with gratitude that there are courageously kind kids who are willing to step into those situations. And I was in awe that this particular kid can recognize that as a God Sighting--God as Emmanuel, God with him in that horrible moment.
A minute later, VBS was over and I joined the throng of parents rushing in to pick up their kids and depart for the day. But I keep thinking back to hearing the kids share their God Sightings. If I stood up on Sunday morning and asked for those at church with me to share God sightings, would we (would I?) have anything to share? I often ask God to give me eyes to see "God sightings" but so often I simply go about my day not noticing anything. And could God be calling me, calling us, to be Jesus to those around us who need it (like the kid on the bus) and do I have the eyes to see or ears to hear those invitations? How much more vibrant would my faith feel if I were more aware of God's movement around and through me? Surely it would be so exciting to daily be aware of the ways God is rescuing and reconciling and offering hope to those around us. Here's to "God Sightings" and having eyes to see them and the willingness to share them with those around us.