The Grace Of Wonder
The love of God is not some theological construct that helps one sleep at night. Not a security blanket that helps one get out of bed and face the world.
It’s the ultimate reality at the nub of the universe. It’s the heart of everything.
My knowing that God is love and that God, the Creator-King of the universe loves me personally and intimately is not some intellectual assertion I can or cannot believe in. It does not disappear or diminish when I or anyone else stops believing it.
The God of love is my core, bedrock reality, the presence that I trust my entire being to and where I find my fundamental identity. I try to live out my faith, my deep trust in God’s love daily. Sometimes, I stumble, fall flat on my face, I get bruised and battered. The love of God picks me up, dusts me off, puts on a bandage or two and sends me on my way to be better than I used to be, to sin no more. This presence is with me constantly even when I fail to be the person I ought to be. This presence is with me constantly even though I will never be what I should be.
Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel: “I feel only gratitude for my life, for every moment… Never once did I ask God for success, wisdom, power, or fame. I asked for wonder, and He gave it to me.”
We have lost the wonder of life. We have lost the sense of seeing the awesome miracle that life truly is. Life is an epic miracle. Yes, Life is a miracle! A miracle I say. Everything both the good and bad is a signpost to the being who sits at the center of the universe, the presence of pure and prefect love that beckons each of us. Each day we are invited to revel in the miracle that is life. Just to breathe, just to live, just to be is holy. We are on holy ground and should live in deep reverence to life, reality, divine, the holy, God—whatever you want to call it. Life is good and conspires for our Good. Life is a gift. Life is beautiful. Life is a glorious, rapturous, and awesome moment.
The Poet Walt Whitman said, “Every moment of light and dark is a miracle.” He was right! Everything is a miracle, a gift from God and the moment we rediscover and embrace this truth the smoother life will be. I am not saying that is easy or we should be happy when we are in pain or darkness has over taken us. That would be dumb and you should ignore me. I know life can be hard, harsh, and terrible. Often it seems life is suffering. Evil things happen. Chaos ensues. Yet, I don’t think dwelling on the bad will ever make us feel better. We are called to serve our neighbor, to speak truth in tragedy, and to do good. If we dwell on the bad that is flung at us than we cripple ourselves from serving, speaking, and doing good, but if we can step beyond our little selves than we can do good.
The past week or so I have been battling an infection that has raged through my body. I went to the emergency room last week and I was put on oxygen; I was at the ER three days in a row. I am still taking two forms of antibiotics. Yet, through this sickness good has come. I have been graced with the chance to reconnect with my Mom. Other blessings have come, I will not list all of them here, but through this awful disease, I have witnessed that life is a gift and should be treasured as such.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: “A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.”
We need to accept that life is a miracle and then, cultivate this miraculous sense of God in the world. God is everywhere, everything is spiritual, and that God loves us personally and intimately. The moment we discover and embrace this we see how good life is and want to experience more, we will want to live our life to the full. This is a grace that only God can grant us, we can open ourselves to seeing the miracle and take steps to being a living, breathing miracle.
Let us ask God for this gift making Brennan Manning’s prayer ours.
“Dear Lord, grant me the grace of wonder. Surprise me, amaze me, awe me in every crevice of Your universe. Delight me to see how Your Christ plays in ten thousand places, lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not His, to the Father through the features of men’s faces. Each day enrapture me with Your marvelous things without number. I do not ask to see the reason for it all; I only ask to share in the wonder of it all.”