By Sue Duby—
There is a phrase that makes me smile. When the words tumble out of my mouth, I can see my husband laugh, shake his head and for the thousandth time sigh and respond, “I don’t know!”. I’m a curious kind of girl, always pushing to figure out the “whys”. It’s become an almost automatic response to things and situations I don’t understand. The puzzler solver within me. These words… “I wonder…”.
It could be as simple as speckled leaves on my rose bush. “I wonder if it’s diseased?”. Or lack of response from my text to a friend. “I wonder if her phone is off?” The list goes on… all day long.
Over the past few years, my wondering ways have begun to change. For so long, a sense that understanding and control of facts would lead me to peace, often drove my questions. Slowly, through God’s invitation to spend more reflective time with Him, my focus and attentiveness shifted. Rather than looking for my own satisfaction with answers, I knew God was challenging me to experience the gift of HIS wonder. To see it, receive it and just find joy in that.
Wonder is “rapt attention or astonishment at something awesomely mysterious or new to one’s experience or marvel (to become filled with surprise, wonder or amazed curiosity)”. To know that God, indeed, is the author of wonder stirs excitement in my heart! He gave us curiosity and desires to continually surprise our eyes, ears and hearts.
“Son of man, look carefully and listen closely and pay attention to everything I am going to show you, for that is why you have been brought here.” Ez 40:4 NIV God spoke to Ezekiel in a vision with words that have become my daily assignment. Look (carefuly). Listen (closely). Pay attention (to everything). In that very task, I’m amazed at where I see HIS presence and work.
My crazy tropical Cana plant. Two stalks, buried in mulch, not supposed to survive winter with weeks of freezing temperatures. Now ten green shoots, breaking through the soil, promising a tapestry of yellow blooms to stir daily wonder all summer.
Coffee with a dear “history” friend. Watching her tears and seeing the gift of deep friendship with vulnerable, tender sharing.
Sitting on our garden swing. . . listening. Birds chirping in the morning stillness. Amazement at the gift of a quiet backyard sanctuary.
Hearing the whisper of a tiny voice, “Nana!”. Waking to 3 year old Dawson’s face nuzzling mine.
Wonder is His gift every day, ready to be received and embraced and pondered. No longer do I wait to see His surprises in the big things… the life decisions, the jobs, the work assignments… but rather I expect to see His wonder in each moment.
Experiencing wonder takes practice. It’s hard for all of us to be still as we journey through our days. Taking a quiet pause, a deep breath and a moment to look, see and pay attention in the present is the beginning. Asking a simple question can help stir thoughts. What do you want me to see, Lord? What am I curious about right now? What is surprising? What makes me smile? Don’t look for the staggering, “writing in the sky” kind of wonder. Be ready to be surprised by wonder in the seemingly small and insignificant things.
Sitting at a coffee shop sipping the last of my latte, I took my fingers from my laptop and decided to look around, curious if I could see some of His wonder right there. Immediately, I noticed 3 women tucked in a corner. 3 generations, perhaps family, the oldest busy knitting. All smiled as they chatted (for at least the 2 hours I’d been in the shop). The wonder of how God births, nurtures and sustains sweet relationships.
Though I still often exclaim, “I wonder….” it now comes from a different heart. I really mean, “Lord, show me what you want me to see. Help me understand the working of Your hand.”. That brings a smile and a sigh that says, “Wow, Lord, you truly are amazing!”.