Where Are You Hiding, God? is a children’s picture book by the Austrian illustrator Elisabeth Zartl. Originally published in 2013 under the German title Wo versteckst du dich, lieber Gott? it has been translated into English in order to reach a wider audience. Primarily targeted at children of Christian families, the book attempts to explain the concept of God.
The short story begins with an anonymous little girl searching for God in a manner that resembles a game of Hide and Seek. She looks in her bedroom, the bathroom and the garden before giving up in defeat. As she sits desolately alone, a gust of wind and a falling leaf prompt her to realise that God does not have a corporeal body, but is, in fact, everywhere. Exhilarated by her newfound understanding, she exclaims that God was in all the places she looked and that he is inside her, too. God is everywhere.
Aimed at children ages three and over, Where Are You Hiding, God? explores the confusion a child may have in comprehending the idea of God. For a child, knowing something or someone is there but not being able to see them is a difficult idea to grasp. This book, through the demonstration of someone their own age, helps to explain their questions and uncertainties.
Elizabeth Zartl’s illustrations capture the attention of those reading or looking at the pages. Filling each page with a full-colour palette, the drawings are child-friendly but realistic, making it easy to process, and accurately creates a visual narrative of the written words. The language is also suitable for the intended demographic and, although three-year-olds may not be able to read it themselves, they will certainly understand the story.
From a design point of view, the text and illustrations do not quite match up. The full-page artworks make it difficult to place the short sentences in a way that both elements can work together. This, however, is not the fault of the author/illustrator who would have originally been working with a German text.
Overall, Where Are You Hiding, God? is a sweet, short story that can be read to children or grandchildren over and over again. As well as being a source of entertainment, it introduces them to the beliefs they will encounter during their Christian upbringing and prepares them to develop a greater understanding of God.
This article was found in the April 1952 copy of Progress, the monthly magazine of the Romford Congregational Church. It was written by B. C. Wood and originally titled London Pride.
Not many months ago I was given the privilege of introducing some transatlantic visitors to London, the city that Emerson once called the Capital of the Human Race. I set about my task with joy and with pride because London is not only an incomparable capital but it has the capacity of arousing and sustaining complete devotion in the hearts of its sons.
Soon, however, my joy gave place to sense of inadequacy for London does not give itself to guide-book treatment. While any visitor should be impressed by the dignity of the Mall and the excitement of Piccadilly Circus or Trafalgar Square the true throb of London's pulse can only be felt in its accidental and sudden beauty, in the discovering of its labyrinth of streets, in the fascination of its river and in the beauty of its parks.
When I stood for the first time on Westminster Bridge and gazed expectantly around me I felt ashamed of my dullness, for I could see nothing majestic in the panorama before me. Yet, on another occasion, probably it was autumn, Wordsworth's seemed an inspired description of a noble scene. In the same way Somerset House, the house of the Protector, is sometimes the shabbiest building and sometimes one of the handsomest to be seen.
Many visitors, including, I think, mine, who are accustomed to the stone triumphs of millionaire financiers are surprised by London's modesty. When the big and bold in architecture is sought we must turn to Bush or Shell-Mex House or to the monstrosity which is the London University building, and it is only by chance and Goering's bombers that St. Paul's Cathedral has yet been set free to shout its sturdy Protestantism at a larger audience. Besides Versailles St. James' Palace is the last word in self-effacement while in comparison with the White House No. 10 Downing Street must be almost sinister in its anonymity.
But the anonymity is a characteristic of both the Londoner and his city. I have met Londoners who are inordinately proud because they have no idea who their neighbours are and no wish to find out. Here is a have for those - from the deserter to the revolutionary - who wish to live in oblivion. "The only spot on earth left to be discovered," said one of Pinero's characters, "is the end of Cromwell Road."
Again, there are many cities within London; from Spitalfields to Golders Green there is toleration to all races, while Hampstead and West Ham might be in different continents. Some say too that the climate in Battersea is far milder than that in Chelsea, but about this I cannot tell.
London's parks are all of them significant and most of them beautiful, but Hyde Park is perhaps nearest of all to the Londoner's heart. In its own diversity it is a reflection of the whole city; and it has been observed, I think with some perception, that Orators' Corner and the Pets' Cemetery represent the extremities of the British mind. And so it is with the patrician acres of Kensington Gardens and the more plebeian Lido on the Serpentine - the Lido which was inspired by one of the greatest Londoners of all.
I think so too, that George Lansbury would dearly loved to have seen the exciting new vista of London opened up with the buildings on South Bank. For here we have not only a fresh view of London's present glories but a promise that we may be privileged to witness the writing of another historic chapter in the story of our city.
As we know, July is named after Julius Caesar. This, of course, reminds us of the quote “give to Caesar what is Caesar's; and to God the things that are God's." (Mark 12:17)
Giving to God the first crops and first-fruits come to mind. This is the concept of giving to God the best and not what is leftover. So often we short change what we give to God. We squeeze God in, sometimes unsuccessfully, into our very busy lives. Instead of putting God first, we put other things first.
So, let’s reflect, Does God come before family?
Does God come before work?
Does God come before sports practice?
Does God come before holidays?
It’s always a good question to know where God stands in our lives.
It is vital to remember that God wants us to be happy, God wants us to enjoy the fruits of his creation, God wants us to enjoy family and work and recreation and holidays. God does not want us to burn out because God loves us. But I just pose, where is God in our lives?
Fun Fact: The word Trinity does not appear anywhere in the Bible. The word was first used to describe God by Tertullian, who was a North African Christian Theologian, born 155-220 AD.
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Rev'd Martin Wheadon