Looking for Waldo

“I was ready to be sought by those who did not ask for me; I was ready to be found by those who did not seek me. I said, ‘Here am I, here am I.’”

(Isaiah 65:1 ESV)

This passage reminds me of the evening ritual my son and I had before his bedtime. Adam was a huge fan of Where’s Waldo books, and rather than read a story (I know-bad mom) we would pour over those crazy drawings. Each turn of the page presented different illustrations depicting various events with what seemed like thousands of people. Together, we would scan the drawings for one thing: a tall, slim, funny looking fellow with round glasses and a red and white knit cap named, you guessed it, Waldo. He was not easy to find as he was drawn in surreptitiously amongst the activities, actions, and hordes of people in each scene. With practice Adam and I got pretty good at finding him: one because we knew he was there, and two because we took the time to look for him.

I am not the first to see the correlation between the spiritual life and Waldo, but when I read the above passage in Isaiah with this invitation from God, it made me think of looking at the Where’s Waldo books without looking for Waldo. We would have missed the whole point!

How often do I go throughout my day like the characters in the Waldo books: unaware that somewhere God is hidden in the picture, inviting me to come look for him, to come and cry out for him? Often I simply forget to look; other times I am too preoccupied to look; and sometimes I don’t want to look. What if I do find him—then things will have to change. I will have to change. You can’t find the living God of the universe and not be impacted. I know that my deepest desire, my truest self, wants to find him, to have him mess with me, to change me. But there is another part (the flesh) that say’s, “Hey, I’m fine, thank you very much.”

I have such fond memories of looking for Waldo with Adam. It was a ritual at night, but like most things in life I had no idea that God was there too, and that God would use that little life experience to teach me a great truth. God is always in my story but I need to practice persistently looking for him. I need to remember God is crying out to me, “Here, am I, here am I!” Oh that I would have ears to hear and eyes to see where God is hidden or where God is speaking! Oh that I would remember that God is in every scene, every frame of this thing that is the story of my life! Lord, let me see You, let me hear You in the story of my life events today. May it be our ritual together.

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