God Scouting

Gerard Manley Hopkins wrote, in Psalm-worthy lyric,

“The world is charged with the grandeur of God.

     It will flame out like shining from shook foil.”

Hopkins was a God scout.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning famously said, “Earth’s crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God; But only he who sees, takes off his shoes—The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.”

Browning was a God scout, too.

Sir Isaac Newton is supposed to have said, “In the absence of any other proof, the thumb alone would convince me of God’s existence.” He, of course, looked far beyond the thumb, dusting apples and the stars for God’s fingerprints.

God scout.

I find God scouts on almost every page of the Bible.

Jacob at Bethel: “Surely God was in this place and I was not aware.” 

King-Poet David: “You, God, are my God,/earnestly I seek you;/I thirst for you,/my whole being longs for you.” 

Mary, mother of Jesus: “But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” 

God scout. God scout. God scout. 

You know what a scout does; a scout is a seeker, one who “explores to obtain information.” 

A God scout seeks the face of God, exploring what He’s made, what He’s said and what He’s done to obtain information about Who and What “I AM” is.  

This blog is a collection of observations from a junior God scout—assembled, sketched and transcribed in the field. It offers only a glimpse of an irreducible God and should it grow to 100 million posts, it will reveal no more than the toenail of our Creator.

I’m writing it because the possibility of seeing God’s toenail thrills me. If it thrills you too, you should stick around.

Over the coming weeks and months I’m hoping to partner with you to create something pilgrimage-worthy, a home for our glimpses of God, a place for God scouts to share their observations. I’ll be writing about what I see God doing in scripture and what I see Him doing in my life. We’ll have a recurring “God is _________” feature in which we place the many different attributes of God side by side, piling “jealous” and “love” and “just” and “the way” and “hope” one upon the other, unhewn stones in a God-glorifying altar.

We’ll also do something I’m calling “Friday in the Field,” an opportunity for readers and guest-bloggers to share their God encounters. I’m looking for your stories, sketches of God in your own inimitable voice. 

David once prayed, 

One thing I ask from the Lord,
    this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
    all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
    and to seek him in his temple.

I pray that, too. With David, I seek to dwell in the house of the Lord, to see the house of the Lord all around me, His cloud curtains and grass green shag carpet. I seek to gaze on the beauty of the Lord, having eyes to see Him in a straight stalk of asparagus and in my sleeping daughter’s cream-colored cheek. I will seek Him in His temple, in my very self and in the hearts of my Image-bearing, Spirit-filled brothers and sisters. 

I am a God scout. You can be one, too. Come scout with me.