God is a novelist. He uses all sorts of literary devices: alliteration, assonance, rhyme, synecdoche, onomatopoeia. But of all of these, His favorite is foreshadowing. And that is what God was doing…He was foreshadowing. He was laying traps, leaving clues, clues I could have seen had I been looking…Nothing came of them…but that is how the clues God leaves sometimes works. Sometimes nothing comes of them. Sometimes, as in a great novel, you cannot see until you get to the end that God was leaving clues for you all along. Sometimes you wonder, How did I miss it? Surely any idiot should have been able to see from the second chapter that it was Miss Scarlet in the conservatory with the rope.
Girl Meets God, p. 57
As I’ve blogged, I’m a slightly obsessed book lover. I’m rarely without a book – or twenty – sitting in various states of completion, and I could literally cover my walls in the entire house with shelves and still have books that need homes. However, I have also found a fascinating with audio books. Don’t get me wrong, I still love the “real thing(s),” but as a lifelong audio book skeptic, I found myself captivated by the first audio book I listened to (Kite Runner) and haven’t looked back since.
As much as I loved being read to when I was younger, I just wasn’t sure I’d like not reading it myself – especially since I read at a slightly obscene pace and I knew there was no way I could listen to things at the rate I’d read them. Plus, I love the feel of a book in my hands and to have it to go back to and reread and reread and reread, neither of which were possible with audio books.
Awhile ago I completed a book that I’d heard great things about, and all I could think to say about it through most of it was “things that make you go hmmm” – I honestly wasn’t sure what I thought of it.
It’s rare for me to let a book go unfinished, and, truthfully, I’ve rarely “met” a book I didn’t find some redeeming qualities in by the end, even if it wasn’t quite what I’d normally choose or what I’d anticipated. And that holds true even for things I’d read out of obligation.
When I “picked up” The History of Love I was sure I knew where it was going to go. But within about an hour of listening, I wasn’t even sure I wanted to know where it was going to go. I found it odd, for lack of successfully coming up with an alternate word at the moment.
I did find the main character, a lonely old man who leaves the house every day because he “[makes] a point of being seen” since “all [he wants] is not to die on a day when [he] went unseen,” poignant at times.
But the book, overall, was very…different. Half of me wanted to stick with it just to see where it went, and half of me was so convinced of where it went that I was tired of the headache of trying to follow it. Maybe it was just a case of a book that, for me, may have better been read than heard. In the end, I did finish. And, in the end, I was basically correct in my thoughts of where it would go. Actually, in the end, I also felt slightly gypped.
There were clues throughout the story. Twists. Turns. Traps. Clues. Some of it was incredibly obvious. Some of it was incredibly obscure.
There are seasons in life when it seems like God makes it so obvious what He’s up to. In fact, I have a story I want to blog about soon that comes to mind every time I read that quote from Lauren Winner.
I think about those times when it feels like God has been dropping lots of clues about what He is doing behind the scenes, and then I think about seasons like He has me in now.
I’m trying to be faithful in watching and waiting and listening.
I wonder what will become of the very few clues God’s dropping right now, how those very few pieces I can discern will, in any way, all fit together.
And I wonder how to store away these clues and try not to miss any others, even though much of the time it just feels foggy and it seems like I’m just moving forward trying to trust that He goes before me.
I want to see the clues He wants for me to see, and rest in the knowledge that He sees the big picture and knows how all of the clues fit together, even when many days things seem awfully jumbled to me.
But for today, I must admit I have no clue how this novel of my life is going to end, let alone this current page!