Saturday, November 14, 2015

Sacred Wonder

Teach me, God, to wonder,
teach me, God, to see.
Let your world of beauty capture me.
Praise to you be given.
Love for you be lived.
Life be celebrated, joy you give!

Walter Farquharson

"Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder." E. B. White

I've just started into William Brown's new book Sacred Sense: Discovering the Wonder of God's Word and World. Brown is a Hebrew scripture scholar, but in this book he looks at texts from older and newer testaments to explore the nature of wonder, not to mention wonder in nature. He is always an insightful and deeply spiritual writer and in the first pages this book doesn't disappoint. I'm looking forward to delving in.

There is always a danger in religion to forget just how central wonder is to the spiritual experience. Brown quotes Anne Lamott's Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers in which she reminds us that "Wow means we are not dulled to wonder." Great thought, but we often do have the shine rubbed off our sense of wow.

A few months ago son Isaac sent us a wee video of grandson Nicholas running back and forth between their house and the one next door. It was raining and water was gushing out of the downspouts from both buildings. Nicholas had to get his boots under both torrents and delighted in the race back and forth. Wonder and wow.

Wonder doesn't have to be complicated or involve a trip to a distant place and children and grandchildren can reteach us the spiritual pleasure of wonder.  

Do you still have the capacity for wonder and joy? Do you need a wonder transplant? What holds you back from wonder?

1 comment:

Frank said...

I believe that my sense of wonder, as manifested in the natural world, inspired my desire to pursue studies in science and mathematics. As more is discovered to explain how nature operates, I am left with an increasing sense of awe.