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Seeing God in the Little Things

Written by Sabbath McKiernan-Allen
August 8, 2013

In my previous report, I highlighted how being in South Africa awakened my cultural consciousness. As a North American, I experienced so many cultural assumptions and practices that are different from my own. Encountering these helped me enlarge my awareness of the diversity of the human family and how we have so much to learn from one other. North Americans could learn so much from the spirit of community, of sharing, of communal identity and responsibility for one another that is so prevalent in South Africa. I was also struck by the fact that, beneath the differences, we do share a deep human core. We are all made in God’s image, although we refract that image in different ways.

In this report I take a more theological point of view. My jumping off point is a well-known text from 1 Kings 19:11-12.

11 And God said, “Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.

God tells Elijah to go and stand on the mountain and wait for the Lord to pass by. The Bible tells us that three big events happened: a raging wind passed by, an earthquake and a fire. However Elijah was not able to see God in those instances. The Bible continues to say that after all of that, there came a still small voice. It was in that still small voice that Elijah was able to hear and see God. This story is a wonderful example of my summer at Inanda Seminary.  I came to Inanda ready for some miraculous God encounters. I was ready to see God through the wind, the earthquakes and the fire. What I found was similar to Elijah: I was able to see and hear God's still small voice.

I saw God through the Inanda interns. I saw their servant hearts as they served meals to each other and graciously helped the teachers and the students. I saw God through the way they welcomed me into their everyday lives and allowed me to live alongside them for two months. I saw God through Rev. Susan who was so giving of her time. She make herself available for the members and teachers. Rev. Susan provided counseling for those who needed it, visited the sick, taught and ministered. Not only that, she did it all with a sense of joy. I was able to hear God's still small voice through conversations about life and love. I was able to see God through the smiling members as they asked if America was similar to High School Musical.  I heard God's voice through the singing in chapel and the devotions every morning. I saw God through the sun rises and the sunsets, through the smiles and the laughter, through the dancing and singing, I saw God in the little things.

Through these experiences I have learned to cherish the ways I see Jesus. It also serves as a beautiful reminder that actions are so important. The way I act and the things that I say have the potential to give another person a glimpse of Jesus, a glimpse of something that transcends our world. It reminds me to be a light and shine wherever I am. So, I am thankful to Inanda Seminary for allowing me to spend two months seeing God. And I am thankful to Global Ministries for helping me make this trip possible.

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