Herald Journal Columns
August 7, 2006, Herald Journal

Searching for God

By PAM FIECKE

On a nice summer’s day, an old man sat in his porch swing, swinging back and forth for hours.

A teenage girl, from across the street, noticed him in his porch swing day after day with that same bewildered look on his face, just staring off into nowhere.

The teenage girl’s ball rolled into the old man’s yard. She ran to pick it up and as she bent down to reach for the ball, she looked at the old man and said, “Hi, my name is Renee. I see you every day, sitting in your porch swing staring off into nowhere. What is it that you are looking for? Maybe I can help you.”

He gave a big smile and replied, “Renee, you are way to young to understand what I am looking for. I am unsure of what I am looking for myself – how could you even begin to answer my question or even understand?”

Renee became very determined and curious. She begged the old man, “Please, please, tell me what you are looking for, maybe I can help you! My mom always told me, that if I had something in my head, I should talk about it, to get a better understanding of what I am searching for in thought. ‘Share, share, share,’ my mom always said.”

The old man grunted and said, “Renee, I really do not think you can help me.”

Renee became restless. “What would happen if I just listened to you?,” she asked.

The old man could see the determination in Renee and finally replied, “All right, Renee, I am looking for . . . I am looking for . . . I am looking for . . . God.”

Renee took a deep breath and with all due respect, quietly said, “You sit in your porch swing day after day in search of God?” She was puzzled.

The old man cleared his throat, his face turned red, then his head slowly went to a downward position. He looked like he was going to start to cry.

“As old as what I am, all my life, I just never believed there was a true God,” he said. “I need a sign. Something that will show real evidence that there is a real God. I don’t want someone to just tell me. I need proof. I need visible proof.”

The teenage girl put her hands over her face and thought for a moment. “You need a sign?” Renee was confused by the old man’s words.

Then it came to her. She blurted out, “God gives you signs. He gives you signs every day.

“Are you not breathing right now? Look over there, the fresh flowers. Listen, can’t you hear the birds chirping?

“What about all the babies born? What about when you laugh or when tears roll from your eyes?

“What about the wind and the rain and the rainbow? The changes in the seasons? All the people that are healed, the doctors, nurses, ministers, teachers etc.?

“God works through them. He gives people gifts to share and to help others. These are all signs from God, and you still do not believe there is a God?”

The old man smiled and said, “Renee, you are quite positive in your knowledge of God, but this that you speak of, is yet not quite enough.”

Renee became persistent. She walked up to the old man, placed her young hands over his heart, and spoke softly into his ear.

“God comes from here,” she said. “God is so big He can cover the whole world with His love, and yet so small He can curl up inside your heart. Find God in your own heart. He’s with you.”

The old man began to think about what the young girl said.

Walking back across the street, Renee turned to the old man and smiled. Then she bent down to smell the flowers.

“God is with you morning, noon, and night,” she shouted back to him. “The love he has for us, is the greatest love of all.”


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