I had a delightful time with my grandson Tommy, now just a few months into his fifth year, reading a small children’s book by Elisabeth Zarti named “Where Are You Hiding, God?” It took more than few minutes to convince Tommy to spend some valuable with grandpa in reading what he called “a boring book”. “Boring” is a new word in his vocabulary. Most of his time with me, grandpa, is with Legos. I need to spend more time with him reading. I literally melt when he finally climbed up next to me on my recliner, putting his little head on my chest, to dig into reading this small book.
I like to tease and test Tommy. He is a smart kid. He always catches my mistakes. In reading this book I would call a FOX a FISH—waiting for him to point out my misake. This way I knew he was paying attention. I will point to the word RED and say BLUE. He corrects my mistake—he actually focused on the letters in the word RED. I marvl in his catching my intentional error—for he is only five. I count only five dragonflies on one of the pages in this book. He can easily find two or three more! Like I said, he is a smart little boy! And yes, I am biased!
But the point of the book: Where Are You Hiding God? How does a five year capture this concept that alludes many of us as adults? How often, as adults, do we ask in our lives: Where, God, are you hiding?
With little children suffering: Where are you hiding, God?
With families that don’t have beds to sleep in: Where are you hiding, God?
Women and men looking for meaningful work: Where are you hiding, God?
Chaos with government decisions: Where are you hiding, God?
These are all questions that are going through my mind as I read this little book wondering what I will take for little Tommy to believe that God is all around us – in and around and above and below us.
“There you are? I’ve found you! You are in the leaf touching me. You are in the wind that sent the leaf down onto me.” Beautiful, clear language for a child.
Some challenging questions as I search with Tommy for God – in the trees and birds and the MIRROR found at the end of the book.
Personally and for me, God is in the warmth of knowing this little boy, Tommy, will learn something special in the time we have invested in reading this book.
Filled with God’s love and he feeling of God’s presence I start to sing. “Grandpa?” “God is not in your singing!” There is so much more for Tommy to learn—as I work on my singing skills!
Elisabeth Zarti, Westminster John Knox Press, 2013.