Wednesday, January 06, 2010

The Korea godwinks

Okay, you know my thing about Godwinks. I love them. They make me happy. They make me know God is over my shoulder. Basically, they reassure me of five Bible verses/truths:

One: "You, God, see me."
Two: "My times are in your hands."
Three: "The Lord knoweth our thoughts."
Four: "God's sheep hear his voice."
Five: "You will hear a voice saying, 'This is the way; walk in it.'"

So, yeah, the Korean godwinks. A few of my friends are aware of this and I might have mentioned them on this blog a while back. Basically, it's this: ever since I started the novel My Life as an Onion, which has a Korean-French main character, the word Korea has popped up almost everyday in my life. So much so that I almost expect it and I still get the giggles when they occur.

Basically, I was writing The Constant Tower and suddenly out of the blue I decided to write Onion. I had no plot, mind you. But the plot came quickly...all by itself without a struggle. For years I had wanted to write something for the Delacorte first young adult novel contest but I never managed to do it. Suddenly this time, bingo! There I was, writing one at last. And with only four months to go before the deadline.

I kept telling myself: it's stupid to stop editing an almost finished novel to write another novel that will probably need editing...just stop.

But then the Korean godwinks started popping up. It was as if they were encouraging me to finish the story. Or maybe they were just encouraging me by telling me that God was with me. Either way there they were...on an almost daily basis.

What do you mean? I hear you asking.

Well, let's see.
I'd get up and turn on the television to the news. Then I'd sit at my computer to write then I'd decide at no exact time and for no real reason to stretch my legs or to see what is on television and I'd start flipping through the remote. Then I might stop at some stupid little sitcom I never ever ever watched because I felt like stopping and after about a minute -- sometimes after only about ten seconds-- someone on the show would mention Korea.

When it first started, I'd smile and say, "Thank you, Lord! You're so funny! Okay, you're aware of me. I'll go write."

But the godwinks continued... ALMOST DAILY. It was totally as if I had a coach/comforter always beside me.

I'd be waiting on a supermarket check-out line and someone would come up behind me and she'd be talking to someone else and suddenly one of them would say, "Oh, I'm trying to make this Korean dish." OR "I'm going to Korea for vacation."

Now, three months of writing -- I wanted to send it to the editors a full month before the deadline at the end of the fourth month-- is one thing. But then the godwinks continued AFTER I had finished writing the novel and AFTER I had sent the novel out.

So then, yesterday, I get up and lie in bed. Then I decided to get up. No real reason to get up except well I figured I would. I go into the kids' room and I listen to a religious music video on gospelmusicchannel by Anthony Evans called "meaningless." (Ah, irony, in a life so full of meaning!) I'd never heard the song but thought it was okay. Then after listening to it, I start flipping through the channels. I see an old movie on AMC or TCM called "Period of Adjustment." I'd never heard of it and was on my way up to SyFy channel, USA, and Spike TV to see what was on. But I figured I'd pause and check it out. When I read the details of the story, I see: "Two sets of honeymooners yadda yadda." I was like..."ugh! Not in the mood to see some thirties movie about honeymooners." But even so, there I was watching it.

About a minute into the movie, one female character says, "I don't know what's the matter with X. All he does is shake, shake, shake." The male character replies, "Oh? He's doing that again? That started in Korea."

So I say to myself, "Oh, this movie was made after the Korean war? It doesn't look that modern. It doesn't look interesting. But I suppose I'm watching it for some reason. And I'll just wait until I get a sign or some godwink from it. Maybe a nice Bible verse of something."

I hear the holy spirit say to me: "But I HAVE given you a sign."

I start to think... and SUDDENLY it dawns on my peanut brain: KOREA!!!!!

So I burst out laughing. I couldn't stop laughing.

The funny thing about that one is that I had totally missed it. I even had noticed the Korean comment but had only thought of it as a key to when the movie was made. And if I hadn't heard the Holy Spirit say -- very quietly, a still small voice-- that he HAD given me the godwink....well I would've missed it. I also think it was Holy Spirit who also thought through me and said: Korea.

So yeah, even when one gets a sign, one needs the holy spirit to tell one that a sign has been given. Then one needs the holy spirit to jog one's memory to tell one what the sign was. But wait, there's more. One needs the holy spirit in order to help one believe that one has had a sign. BECAUSE after all this went down, I suddenly get this unbelieving thought: What if all these Korean godwinks are not from God at all? What if God isn't as personally involved in your life at all? What if it's some kind of ESP where you're so tuned into television that you can pick up the future plot points in any movie being shown anywhere and turn the TV on at the right time? What if it's ESP making you know to go down this particular block past down to the dollar store at the specific time as two particular people are talking about Korean cartoons? What if it's the devil trying to play with you to make you think that God is personally involved in your life and deceive you into trusting God? YES, unbelief can come up with some really weird stuff to make one not believe that God is nearby. BUT YES, there I was imagining all that.

But I have to commit to the sign. I must commit to believing that these Godwinks are not esp or demonic or flakiness or weird coincidence. I must commit to believing the sign that God has given me. I must trust God's love for me and trust that God is aware of when I sit up and when I stand (Psalm 139) and that God directs us even when we don't know he is leading us.

Of course this could mean I should be praying for Korea. I mean, this might have nothing to do with me at all. That is: it is a sure sign but the interpretation is unsure or wrong. But to me, it just makes me know that God is very playful and very aware of me.

I heard a Christian nurse say something like: The most under-repeated unknown news are the stories of God's miracles merciful kindness and dealing with humans. Because for some reason that stuff is never heard on television. How near and humble our Lord stay so near us, to play with us, to reassure us... on a daily basis. What a mighty God we serve!

My friend Marvin responded with this:
Wonderful post – I think the best way to deal with any doubts that these are godwinks from God is through a prayer that “covers all the bases”. If I were experiencing something like this, and had any doubts about the source, I would pray to God, something along the lines of “Dear God, may these be signs coming from you, for some good purpose. If they’re not from you but from some evil source, please turn them into something good.” And of course, a prayer for Korea can’t hurt.

I've done it! He's such a sweetie and so good for me.


J. M. Butler said...

It's always amazing to me to hear how God lets us know that He's here. It is so comforting to know that He does see. Thanks for sharing, Carole!

Carole McDonnell said...

YES! We have such an amazing and loving God. I so want to know more of his love!

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