One of my favorite daily (oh who am I kidding? they were all my favorites) activities in Guatemala was when members of our group would share how they saw God in action that day. Those moments of sharing were coined ‘God sightings.’ And they were so powerful.
They were so powerful because it was more than just leaders or AIM staff sharing what they’d seen; it was the kids. The kids would very bravely recap their experience and most often lean into the story by sharing something personal. I was so proud of the kids because it takes some serious nerve to share from down deep and it was probably often more than what they would ever say in a room here in lovely Michigan. But that’s what made Guatemala special.
We loved God sightings so much that soon they became a part of our weekly church service. I have so enjoyed seeing members of my church family step out of their own comfort zones to share how they’re seeing God work each week and if I’m being honest (which is generally difficult for me not to do. am I right?), it’s become one of my favorite parts of the service as well. That’s just the stuff, you know? It’s authentic and it’s human and it’s awesome.
A couple months ago (I think it was), a woman named Lisa shared about a man she worked with who was dealing with a cancer scare. She had shared her faith with him and it was extremely powerful because 1.) it’s hard to share your faith anyway and 2.) she’s very shy and it’s hard for her to step out of her box like that. But she did it. And it was so cool.
I was part of a group that very quickly assembled to sing at our Thanksgiving Eve service last week. I have rarely gone to that service and frankly, had I not been asked to help I probably wouldn’t have attended. I had known, though, that there was going to be the possibility of some God sighting sharing so that sounded fun. A smaller group is typically more open so it was pretty likely we’d have some folks share that normally wouldn’t.
I talked to Connor earlier that day about the service and he wasn’t excited either. But, I told him what we were doing and he quickly responded that he had a God sighting so we talked about it a little bit and he said he didn’t think he’d share. I told him there was no way I would expect him to. It’s one of those things you have to feel led to talk about.
When the time came Wednesday night, a couple people shared and Connor looked at me and said, “Mom, I have to do it.” I told him to absolutely run with it. When he was given the mic, he so eloquently shared the story about a student in his class who told him that God was a myth and Connor has been trying to help him understand that He isn’t because (duh), how else would we be alive? I didn’t last long before the tears came. I mean, come on. An eight year old just taking ahold of a mic like that to talk about his faith?! But he was just so grown-up and so sure of himself and I knew that in all of the pain I feel like I’ve caused him that there may be just one thing that I’ve done a little bit right.
He also talked about Lisa earlier that day and how he just loves her and that he remembered her story. I want to thank Lisa for being courageous enough to share because in doing so, she helped give my son the courage to speak out so boldly and this mom couldn’t have had any greater a God sighting than in that very moment. Can I get an amen?
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. – Hebrews 11:1