BY ERIC GROTH
Have you ever read an I Spy book? Perhaps I Spy Treasure Hunt, I Spy Animals, or for those who like to take things to the next level, I Spy Extreme Challenger? I must admit that I sat and read a number of these titles with our children when they were younger.
It was a simple activity. Very satisfying. An object somewhat hidden and obscure, often amidst colorful clutter and child-friendly tchotchke, merely needed to be found. It was always on the page — guaranteed to be there — and that gave the search hope and purpose.
I am a film producer, not an author, but if I were ever to write a memoir about my spiritual journey, I would give it the title “I Spy Jesus Christ.” When I reflect on the Lord’s movement and activity in my life over my 47 years, “I spy” him in countless moments.
I spy him when we prayed the Rosary and my dad plopped the big family Bible in my lap so I could look at the cool pictures and bring the Scripture stories to life in my young imagination. I spy him when the usher gently handed me as a five-year old boy unconsecrated bread at the offertory one Sunday and instructed, “Take good care of that. It’s really important.” I spy him when a high school football injury ended my career and some dear friends laid hands on my wounded knee and prayed for healing. The next morning the orthopedic surgeon was amazed that the damage was not as devastating as the MRI showed the night of the injury.
I spy him when my wife and I were relocating from Florida to Ohio and were $200 short of what we needed to rent a moving truck. One week before the move, a woman showed up at our door with a card, stuffed with two $100 bills (we didn’t tell anyone about our need).
I spy him in the delivery room with our firstborn son after we were told four years earlier that we probably would never have biological children. I spy him in that painful conversation, too. (We now have eight.)
Lent is a great “I Spy” season. It’s an anointed time for us to extend the invitation to our teens to reflect on where they see God in their lives and to look inwardly at the things that keep that from happening. What joy and comfort we can find in knowing that, while it is critical for us to actively search for God, he, too, is searching for us!
So complete this sentence: “I spy Jesus Christ …”
Eric Groth is president and CEO of ODB Films.
This article was originally published in Catechist, March 2017.