I left my Bible at church. I walked right out and left it on a chair. I hate it when I do that. It is so simple just to look twice and there is such clarity in the second gaze—and when I get distracted, it so easy to miss something I should have noticed.
I know that looking twice is a safeguard and I would think at this stage of the game, looking twice would come more naturally—and for me, it is still an effort. I’ll have to make a trip back to the church tomorrow to pick it up. I’m just glad it occurred to me that I left it. I called and it will be waiting for me at the front desk. One more time, I’ve been saved from myself. If only I had looked a second time before I left the room.
There is something even more important about the second glance than remembering lost objects. I discovered this when I was reading about Moses several months ago. Since I was telling his basket story in the Pre-conference this year I was reading all about him and came across another story that make a whole other lesson. When Moses grew up and married, he tended his father-in-law’s sheep. He saw a bush that looked like it was burning—actually not an uncommon sight in the desert. Bushes often spontaneously combusted because of the hot desert sun—but for some reason, Moses decided to take a second look at this particular bush because though it was on fire, it didn’t seem to be burning. Read these words from Exodus 3:4 When the Lord saw Moses coming to take a closer look, God called to him from the middle of the bush, “Moses! Moses!”
It struck me that God didn’t speak to Moses until he came to take a closer look. He was giving it the all-important second glance and God noticed. He had something to say to Moses but He waited to say it until He had Moses’ full attention.
I’ve noticed that when I take the second look for what God is doing, I usually see it. I may not immediately recognize it as God but if I look and pay attention, I usually recognize His fingerprint.
On one of my trips to a Women of Faith event, I determined from the time I left home to take a second look at everything that happened in order to see if God had left His fingerprint. It was amazing.
The first ‘appearance’ was a man leaning over a cart in baggage claim. As I arrived, he pointed directly at me. I looked around and then pointed back to myself, and said, ‘Me?’ He nodded and said, “You are in the wrong place. You need to go back upstairs and across the airport. Delta has a new baggage claim area and you are not there.” I looked at the crowd of milling people around me and wondered why he picked me to give that information but decided to follow his advice. I thought, “I guess he knows what he’s talking about,” and so I went back upstairs.
Sure enough, I followed his directions and I was at Delta’s new Baggage claim. I took a second look as I picked up my luggage and was reminded, that was not a coincidence. That little encounter had the finger print of God all over it. I would still be standing at the wrong place if a certain divine messenger had not pointed me in the right direction.
Later in the trip, I picked up a sandwich at a little deli. As I sat down, a man mopping the floor, all the way on the other side of the restaurant, put down his mop and brought me a hand full of napkins. He said, “I see you don’t have a napkin. I thought I would bring you these.” I thanked him profusely, got myself situated and then I took a second look and had a second thought—I believe God wanted me to have a napkin to wipe my face. He knows me. He knows I need it. It was a small thing—but so like God to cover the details.
I was looking. I saw His fingerprint.
I just determined to stay tuned in the whole weekend—always taking a second look whenever anything that seemed to be accommodating happened. On the way home, I walked up to the counter and was handed a first class ticket. That happens occasionally because I fly a lot. This particular day, though, I didn’t want to move to first class because I was traveling with a good friend and she was not upgraded. I told the woman at the counter that I would just pass on the first class ticket because I was traveling with my friend. She immediately began to say, “Well, I’m sorry she can’t be upgraded …” Then she cocked her head as if listening to a faraway announcement and said, “Just a minute. Go have a seat and I’ll get back with you.”
I sat down and waited. In a few minutes, my name was announced. I returned to the counter and she said, “Here are two upgraded tickets for you and your friend. Just consider it compliments of Delta.” I smiled and thanked her but as I returned to my seat, I took a second look. Those tickets weren’t compliments of Delta—they were compliments of God. When I looked the second time, I saw His fingerprint boldly marking the upgraded tickets I held in my hand. One more time, I could see the reality more clearly because I looked the second time.
It is my belief that God will communicate with us in any way He can. He speaks through His word, He sings through His songs, He whispers in His wind and He works through His messengers to leave His very imprint on the common events in our days. All we have to do is look the second time and see, yes, really see, He leaves His fingerprints to let us know He is there.