“If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.”
Funny, how you often find exactly what you are looking for.
Take wolf’s milk, for example.
See those funny looking grey pustules in the photo? Those are the fruiting bodies of a slime mould named ‘Wolf’s Milk’. I didn’t know it existed before yesterday, and I sure wasn’t looking for slime mould.
But that all changed in a moment.
It all started with an outing.
I was out for a forest walk with hubby and our biologist daughter, whose schedule and address make her visits a rare and precious commodity. I am always on the lookout for new species of plants to make observations of, so I was dawdling and scanning the forest floor for anything unusual. Hubby is getting so used to this proceeding he has perfected the ‘uninterested bystander’ saunter/shuffle. (It’s pretty cute.)
So hubby was holding up a tree, staring off into space. I was dawdling. Then I looked back.
Biologist was nowhere in sight.
Not to be outdone in the dawdle department, I doubled back to see what was up.
There was Biologist, staring at a log.
Intrigued, I knelt beside her and stared at the log, too.
I didn’t know what I was staring at until she pointed out the grey bumps with an excited grin.
“Slime mould! It’s the best time of year to find it. And it is often found on a log like this adjacent to mosses.”
Having been properly introduced, now I was in the hunt with Biologist. And sure enough, we found more.
I never in my life have hunted out Wolf’s Milk slime mould, let me tell you. But it was a fun way to enter Biologist’s unique world and share her enthusiasm for yet another unique part of creation. And once we knew what to look for, the finding became a lot easier.
Which gave me pause to think.
What are you looking to find?
If it is fault, you surely will find it. If your eyes are scanning the crowd to find mistakes, missteps, and miscalculations, I guarantee you will find more than you could count.
If it is something to complain about, ditto. The weather will leave something to be desired. The results of decisions made on your behalf, your healthcare plan, traffic, coworkers – you won’t have to look far if you want to take note of something you don’t like.
But if you are looking for creativity, honesty, faithfulness, beauty, kindness, and compassion – truly watching for it – you will also find examples of greatness around you.
What if you are looking for God?
Where would you find Him?
Will He be kind or stern, warm or distant, good or fickle?
It might all depend on what you are looking for.
I never in a million years would have noticed that slime mould growing in that tree trunk if it hadn’t been for Biologist pointing it out, explaining what it was, showing me it’s typical habitat, demonstrating what level of decomposition and habitat it could be found in.
I needed someone to point me in the right direction, take time to show me what to expect, educate me on the presence and possibilities that I had only moments before been completely unaware of.
Friend, let me point you to Jesus.
Let me tell you I found Him in a dark place, a place of pain and chaos. He was gentle. He understood my anger and the loss and frustration that drove me to try to control what couldn’t be controlled. He listened. He let me scream and cry and rail at Him, because He understands betrayal at the deepest levels.
Let me tell you I found peace in the eye of the storm. I found healing – slow, messy, beautiful healing as I learned to give Him access to all the ugly, damaged places inside.
Let me tell you I found freedom! Freedom from guilt and the need for revenge and the unceasing drove to be perfect to cover all the inadequacy and shame I had carried for so long.
Let me tell you I found Jesus, kneel beside you as your eyes get used to what to look for, and help you find Him, too.
Look for this Jesus with me?
Father, thank You for slime mould, and what it can teach us about our search for You. Open our eyes to the beauty and truth of who You are. Thank You for promising that we will find You when we seek with our whole heart. Amen.