Setting Our Sights

sherlockImage Credit: MeticulousMariya

I turned the knob to my dorm room, and found the door was locked. The door was never locked. My roommate was a bit of a homebody, and so more times than not the door would be unlocked, if not wide open. After unlocking the door, I stepped inside the dark room and found it unoccupied. Where did my roommate go?

The door slid shut behind me as I walked over to his bed. The blankets were folded back on themselves as if he had flung them off in a hurry. I pressed the back of my hand to the matress just beneath the pillow and detected a hint of fading warmth. He must have left recently. The light above our sink caught my eye. I made my way over and found that the sink had been recently used. Slick bubbles still sat around the circumference of the drain. He washed his hair. As I turned back toward the center of the room, I inhaled deeply and caught the scent of his cologne still lingering in the air. The pieces came together, and a smile came to my face. Date night. 

I was smiling because just a few months earlier, I was pulling out of a gas station and saying a prayer I felt a little sheepish about. I asked God to help me notice things. Up until that point, I had a special knack for being able to stare at something and not see it. If asked to fetch an item, it was not unusual for me to zero in on the item’s location, look intently for it, and completely miss that it was right in front of me. I’ve spent a substantial amount of time searching for an item that was in my hand, is what I’m saying.

Maybe it was because I was about to leave my hometown and embark upon adulthood, but the idea of continuing to live a life in which I missed everything around me felt far too sad. So I asked God if he would help me to notice things. I wanted to see details and interpret them. I wanted to piece together stories with whatever information was in front of me. And so, standing in the middle of my dorm room, I smiled because I remembered a weird, strange little prayer I tossed in God’s direction, and it felt like he had totally answered it.

In the years since, the desire to truly see and understand that which surrounds me has only grown, though I’ve only recently taken pause to understand why. This blog is about trying to find God every day, in every situation, in every possible hiding place. One part of finding God is learning how to look. (I talked about that very thing a couple of times over the summer.) The other part is learning how to recognize him.

It may come as no shock to you that I am utterly thrilled with the recent renaissance of Sherlock Holmes. I’ve loved both of the Guy Richie films that have come out, but I’m especially attached to the BBC’s “Sherlock”. In the brief clip below, you can watch Sherlock doing what Sherlock does as he discusses why he thinks a colleague’s new boyfriend is actually gay:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sEcYGe0hzrw

Sherlock Holmes is amazing only partly because of his ability to notice the smallest of details. What really makes him extraordinary is his skill at determining what those details mean. In the same way, I think learning to notice and see the details around us is just the first step toward finding God. The next is knowing enough about those details to draw connections that imbue them with meaning.

To that end, I’m introducing something new, here at Hunting for God. In the coming days, you will see a new type of feature popping up, called “Setting Sights On…” In these columns, I, or one of our contributors, will be examining something with the specific intent of trying to find God within it.  Books, movies, songs, TV shows, experiences, whatever we can come up with. The idea is that we will participate in something, examine it, and hopefully, help show you how God is accessible through it.

If any of you have a suggestion for something you feel would be worth exploring, please, let us know either in the comments or over on the Facebook Page. Or, if you’re interested in writing a review of something yourself, let me know! I’m positive we can find a spot for you, and as always, you’ll get your very own byline and a link to your own webpage or blog. Until next time friends, happy hunting.

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