She eagerly approached me on a fresh Sunday morning, arms out-stretched, eyes aglow, with a familiar warm smile. She wanted to hold my baby, and I was happy to oblige her deep-seated tendency to nurture. Although her face was beautifully worn and her gait slightly off-kilter, her nails were perfectly manicured and hair done just-so. Just like every Sunday. Later I would recount our meeting to my husband and longingly remark, “She reminds me of Grandma.”
Upon entering the grocery store, out of pure happenstance, I ran into yet another delightful woman from church, hair silvered, glasses bi-focaled, and smelling of an old-timey, flowery perfume. Yes, that fragrance. She embraced me tightly, complimented my scarf, and we chatted about the weather. As she floated away, in that moment, I found myself deeply longing, “I wish she were mine. I wish she would stay. She reminds me of Grandma.”
And it did not stop there. A former president’s wife. The woman at the farmer’s market. The not-so-clean comedian on the TV. They all remind me of her. My husband noticed. “Really? Everyone reminds you of Grandma.”
But I cannot help myself. Six years gone and I still miss her. There is a hole left gaping. There are stories I cannot remember. There are melodies that do not sound as full without her throaty alto. There is a heart-attack inducing macaroni cheese dish that I will never get quite right, because the dementia took her before I could perfect her recipe.
And there are certain times where I long so much for her presence, that I seem to find her in just about anyone or anything. I see her everywhere.
And God, too. The world aches. Humanity groans. Headlines birth turmoil amid fearful hearts. And I long for Him. More so than Grandma. I pine for His presence amid restlessness. I look for Him. I find Him. The fears that crush, the anxiety that suffocates, the worry that constricts; these things, they fade away in the presence of an almighty God that promises to be found when we only look for Him. Everywhere I turn, there are signs of Him.
There is no joy apart from Him. There is no peace without His presence. There is no rest without His love. Like a bride who dreams of one day being united with her groom, I wait. I press in, seeking. And where do I find Him?
I find Him here: In late summer sunrise. The promise of a new day, a secure future, an everlasting love.
I find Him here: The embrace of my beloved. God’s love modeled, protected, lavished.
I find Him here: The sacred altar. Remembrance, reverence, a fresh start.
I find Him here: In the roaring laughter of a child. Life bubbling over, joy unspeakable, infinite beauty.
I even find Him here: The muddy shoe prints in the hallway. Full lives, happy children, time together.
And so, I invite you to find Him. One only needs to look. He is there. He is here. And He is waiting.
Where do you expect to find Him today? How did He surprise you? And where will you look for Him tomorrow?
“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29.13 (NIV)