Meet my friend, Cricket. Cricket is Ben’s drama coach, and earlier in 2015 she published a very special picture book, The Everywhere God. Today, she shares the reasons why she published this book, and how it has touched those who have read it . . . including herself.
Believing in the Presence of God
By Cricket Hater
One of my favorite books of all time is God Came Near by Max Lucado. I have a very well-worn and loved copy. It is especially poignant at Christmastime because it tells the story of a God who loved His creation so much, He couldn’t wait another minute to come down and be actively involved in the very lives He set into motion. This is only one of many, many books written throughout the centuries contemplating and commentating on the idea of the presence of God being among us. People long to know they are not alone. They long even more to know someone with greater authority and power is by their side and able to help should trouble come their way.
The Everywhere God is a similar story. While it is written with a younger demographic in mind, the message is ageless – God is with us – No Matter What. As I began to work on this project, turning a poem written by my father for my four year old niece into a book, it became clear to me the rhyming words were anything but elementary. Even though they are simple, they still convey a profound hope for seeking people. I have been amazed at how attune I am now to the message of God being near us when I hear a song or watch a show or read something and there it is…the presence of God. I often look toward heaven and say, “Ok. I hear you.”, sometimes with a laugh.
Children love the colorful pictures and clever phrases, but this sweet little book has resonated in the hearts of the adults who have read it too. I have heard from so many people who have shared stories about The Everywhere God being just the word they needed from God and how comforting it is to know He is with them. A woman fleeing a domestic violence situation grabbing this book as she quickly left her home. Her only source of spiritual reassurance. An addict in a rehab facility brought to tears at the story of grace from a God who loved her right where she was on her journey to recovery. A woman in her twilight of life, suffering from dementia, reading this sweet story over and over every day.
People are longing to know they are not alone. I know God places the question on my heart when I am anxious and overcome with worry – Do you believe it Cricket? Do you believe I am with you?
I have spent a lot of time on this project – working with the artist on the illustrations, working with the graphic artist on the layout, raising money for publishing and trying to get the word out about the book. Hours upon hours of time went into the 32 pages you can hold in your hands and I still cry every time I read it. I believe the reason is, I want to believe, but still have to pray for God to “…help my unbelief.” (Mark 9:24)
This summer (2015) I sat down one morning with a copy of the book and a highlighter and went through and marked where I felt God was touching my heart through what had become a very familiar text. I was amazed at the dozens of little lessons, in one tiny phrase after another, I could pull out of the text. After finishing my perusal of the book and making my notes in the margin, I opened the cover and wrote, “Do I believe this?” and circled it in a scalloped bubble penned frame. The question comes to me more than I care to admit and so this is what I would say is the first lesson from The Everywhere God – Do you believe God is with you, really? – How does He show up? When do you feel Him? What difference does His presence make in your daily life.
Starting in January 2016, on TheEverywhereGod.com blog, I will be examining these lessons in a blog series. I hope you will come discover with me these lessons on God’s presence in our lives. I believe it isn’t only about us desiring to know God is with us in our lives on earth, but it is Him wanting to be with us and ease our burdens through peace and hope only He can provide.
Be blessed by the presence of the everywhere God this holiday season.