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The Wonder of It All

May 7, 2012

On Sunday, Kerry, who usually preaches, was away.  In his place, a guest speaker from California delivered the message.  He talked about wonder.  That got me to thinking.

Wonder—to be amazed, to be in awe, to marvel—is a magical word.

As far back as I can remember, it has been a part of who I am.  As a very young child I lived in wide-eyed wonder, amazed at the world around me.  I spent countless hours just observing, exploring, wondering.  I sought to understand what I saw, but I never lost sight of what D.H. Lawrence expressed when he said, “Water is H2O, hydrogen two parts, oxygen one, but there is also a third thing that makes it water and nobody knows what it is.”  We can know, but we can never really know.

I came across this excerpt from Maximum Strength Positive Thinking:  What to Say When You Talk to Your Mind by David J. Abbott, M.D.  It speaks of wonder in a way that resonates with my spirit.

There are two types of blindness.  The first happens when my eyes cannot see light; the second happens when I cannot see God.  There are two types of deafness.  The first happens when my ears cannot detect the vibration of sound; the second happens when my ears have lost their ability to hear God’s voice.

I see God’s love in the birth of a child.  I hear God’s voice in the sound of laughter and joy.  I see the beauty of his palette painted in the sunset.  I see his infinite power in the billions of galaxies that He created and hurled into space.  I feel his care in the warmth of the sun that shines on my face.  I see the twinkle in his eyes in the stars at night.  I hear God speak in the silence of the wilderness.  I hear God sing in the songs that He gave to each bird.  I feel God’s love in the love that I have for my children.  Every time a baby is born, I know that God hasn’t given up on the human race. 

Everywhere and at all times, God is at work in my world.  God is always present in my sense of wonder.  If I lose my sense of wonder, I lose my sight and hearing.  I lose God, and I lose the meaning of my life.  My sense of wonder is fragile, and I must handle it with care.

My life in Haiti has been filled with wonder.  God has led me down roads I could never have imagined on my own.   I have learned to trust Him, to let go of my own plans and know that I am in the center of something so much larger—His will for me.  I stand in amazement of what He is doing in me and through me.  It is an unbelievable honour that He has chosen me to do this for Him.  Pure wonder!

The Talmud says we do not see things as they are, but as we are.  Someone else might see things from a different perspective, but I see things the way I do because of who I am, because He created my inmost being; He knit me together in my mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13).  If that were not wondrous enough, I am a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).  The wonder of it all!  I am in full agreement with Einstein when he said, “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

Wonder does not require understanding.  It is recognition that we have encountered something quite beyond us.  And if we are honest, most of what we encounter is quite beyond us.  “Just as you’ll never understand the mystery of life forming in a pregnant woman, so you’ll never understand the mystery at work in all that God does.”  (Ecclesiastes 11:5).  Wonder asks only that we enjoy, and challenges us to expand the horizons of our awareness.

On Saturday night I stood, my eyes lifted to the skies, to witness the perigee full moon, dubbed the “Supermoon”.  On that night the moon was closer to the earth than it will be at any other time this year.  It appeared much larger and far more brilliant than normal.  As I gazed upon it, and considered the stars that in the absence of ambient light appear so close I almost felt I could reach up and touch them, how could I not stand in wonder?  “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.“ (Psalm 19:1)

I have long considered everything I see in a very personal way.  No one stands exactly where I stand at any given moment.  No one sees exactly what I do.  What I see God created exclusively for me!  What a wondrous gift!

I am a great respecter of science, but focusing on it too closely, I believe, deprives us of wonderment.  All becomes cold and analytical.  Science assumes that what we do not understand we at some time will.  Perhaps that is true.  But it will never happen in this world.

I love the palpability of my sense of wonder—the feeling of having the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, the breathlessness, the cold shiver that runs through my body like lightning as I drink in God’s creation, as I see the beauty in the faces of people through my camera lens, as I experience the beauty that shines through the lives of people I know, as I feel the presence of God in my life.  Sadly, as G.K. Chesterton wrote, “The world does not lack for wonder, only a sense of wonder.”

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Leona Harrison permalink
    May 8, 2012 1:43 am

    At the risk of sounding trite, your thoughts for today are “wonder”ful! I am thinking you should be publishing your writings in a lasting book. God Bless you in your new found mission.

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