Feb 27 2013

The Grace of Wonder

MR-428Over the years I have benefitted greatly from the writings of Brennan Manning.  My favorite book of his is called The Ragamuffin Gospel.  Brennan has experienced the grace of God in a powerful way and bears eloquent witness to its power in this book. In a chapter called “Cormorants and Kittiwakes” he also shares some words that I think readers of this blog will find insightful.  I encourage you to give them some thought:

Jenny Wiley SP sunset“We get so preoccupied with ourselves, the words we speak, the plans and projects we conceive that we become immune to the glory of creation.  We barely notice the cloud passing over the moon or the dewdrops clinging to the rose leaves.  The ice on the pond comes and goes.  The wild blackberries ripen and wither.  The blackbird nests outside our bedroom window.  We don’t see her.  We avoid the cold and the heat.  We refrigerate ourselves in the summer and entomb ourselves in plastic in winter.  We rake up every leaf as fast as it falls.  We are so accustomed to buying prepackaged meats and fish and fowl in supermarkets we never think and blink about the bounty of God’s creation.  We grow complacent and lead practical lives.  We miss the experience of awe, reverence, and wonder.”  Manning goes on to say, “for the eyes of faith, every created thing manifests the grace and providence of Abba.”

Can people really “become immune to the glory of Creation?”  Sad to say, the answer is yes.  It is a danger we all face in our fast-paced and busy lives.  If we are not careful we will miss not just the glory of Creation but the presence of the Creator found in it.  We will miss, as Manning notes, “the experience of awe, reverence, and wonder.”  That truly is a high price to pay!

raven-380Manning concludes the chapter mentioned above by inviting us to pray the following prayer: “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 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 ask only to share the wonder of it all.”  I conclude this entry asking you to do the same.  Offer this prayer and see if you do not once again begin to see and experience more of the glory of Creation.

–Chuck

(I took the top image at Mount Rainier National Park, the middle image at Jenny Wiley State Park in Kentucky, and the bottom image at Yellowstone National Park.)