“The thing about fingerprints is that they are subtle. What we would like is a finger pointing the way we should go. What we get, sometimes, is a tangible clue that wherever we go, He is with us. We would like to see God face-to-face. But in this life, where we walk by faith, we may occasionally catch traces of Him in our peripheral vision, so to speak. And when that happens, though it is only a foretaste of what is to come, it takes our breath away.”
– Garry Friesen, Decision Making and the Will of God, page 284-285 –
In law enforcement television dramas or movies, finding fingerprints during an investigation is always great news. Now a criminal or witness can be identified. It could mean a break in the case!
What about our daily dramas? What about our real life moments when we just can’t tell if God is with us? We can’t see Him. We can’t touch Him.
Is He even here?
Put on your gloves, girls. It’s time to dust for fingerprints.
As a child, I did what a lot of little girls do. I played with dolls, I dug in the sandbox, I made cookies with Mom. It was the life! (Except for the time as a five-year-old that I loved the cookies so much that I decided to give them a kiss….right on the 350 degree cookie sheet!)
As I grew up, things changed, as they always do.
We moved from a nearby church to one over an hour away, looking for a place to get solid Biblical teaching. I began to teach piano, as a high schooler. I read, studied, played music, taught. It was a time of learning–but for what?
Circumstances, my parents’ choices, our understanding of the Bible, my personality and preferences–all these have shaped my life in ways that I can’t begin to understand.
Sometimes, I stop and look around. Life seems normal enough. But then I look back.
How on earth did I get here? I know this is where I’m supposed to be–but what was I thinking when I chose this direction?
With my limited perspective, I catch a tiny glimpse of God. He’s there, in my history. I can see the traces of His movements, the places where, though invisible, He is somehow easy to see.
I see His hand in the friend that broke my heart. I remember the encouragement of a teacher that affirmed my gifts, leading me into just the right place. That was Him too. I recognize His imprint when my family learned that a traditional college was not my only option. Looking back, I see unsought protection when I was just a naive girl. He was there. It really did all work for my good, even when I couldn’t see it.
Smiling, I see a mysterious thread of continuity in the things I’ve pursued from the time I was a child. When I was two, I’d pull out a box, stand on it, and perform one of a handful of songs I knew at the top of my lungs. Now, I forgo the box, but I still sit down at the piano and sing. As a little girl, I wrote a highly-inspired piece of poetry called “Swings,” which went into great detail about the repetitive pendulum motion of playground equipment. Now, I write blog posts for you. Growing up, I read so many books that my mom had to limit how long I spent reading each day. Now, all the words I’ve stockpiled keep flooding back out, usually faster than I can write them down.
It’s not like I sat down as a three-year-old and said, “Well, my personality obviously leans toward musical and language arts, so I’m going to start singing and reading every day to develop my skills.” Are you kidding? Growing up, reading was playtime and music was just another part of school. But my education and my recreation both instilled in me tools that I use today.
After high-school, my life has turned again. I’ve gained a degree in accounting (of all things.) I’ve written a (so-far unpublished) novel. I’ve started a blog. I’ve moved from an area with 6 million residents to an end-of-a-dirt-road farm in the mountains. We now go to a church almost two hours away.
And it’s great.
Life is different now from what I ever imaged. Some days are wonderful. Some days, it’s not easy. I don’t think it’s supposed to be.
“O Lord, let me remember that I see You everywhere…
And oh, I long to see Your face, invisible, invisible God
All the works that You have made
Are clearly seen and plain as day…
O Lord, let me remember
Your power eternal, Your nature divine
All creation tell the tale that love is real and so alive…”
– Andrew Peterson, “Invisible God” –
I’m dusting for fingerprints. It’s not something you can do in advance. But, as you walk in faith and act on what God has laid out for you to do in His Word–obey, rejoice, give thanks, trust Him–you can look over your shoulder and see the shining glow of God’s touch.
Girls, you are part of God’s fingerprints in my life. He has used many of you in ways that have delighted my heart and driven me back to Him to say thank you.
“Have you felt His merciful touch, like the caress of a cool shadow on a long hot day?…Have you felt the pressure of His fingers shaping you into someone who will reflect His glory for all eternity?
“What you have received, my friend, you can also give. So offer yourself to others….When you do, you become His touch. His touch shelters. His touch honors. His touch guides. And His touch restores. It may be within the hour. It may be in the middle of the night. It may be in a way you never anticipated, expected, or even considered.
“But yours is the skin He chooses, and yours will be the life He uses.”
– Jennifer Rothschild, Fingerprints of God, page 154 –