It’s no small wonder
that the world is filled
with small wonders.
But it takes a child with a stubborn streak of attentiveness to discover them.
Often, the smallest, biggest wonders are right where you are, on the way to where you’re headed, begging to be found under your feet. She found it first, in that glorious patch of clover that I had fully missed.
A child sees. She stops for miracles, gathering them up by the fist-full.
She discovered a clover patch at the edge of the soccer field. I had passed it, but she had stopped. I turned around to tell her to hurry, so we could sit in the lawn chairs that her Daddy had set up for us. But she was persistent after the miracles. She plucked them one by one.
Her slowing down was God’s way of reminding me: The here-below is a canvas of God above, who went to the trouble to create infinitely beautiful treasures to brighten up the sullen parts of this world.
This one child, made in God’s image, resembles her Maker, bending low over a handsome patch of clover. She holds grace in her hands.
I’m stopped by this. Watching her, I ask myself: When did I outgrow this kind of wonder? I used to stop for the clover, as a child. When does a grown-up stop stopping for wonder?
Here now, only with the help of a child, can I see. So I take three photos with my iPhone, and watch her, jealous for her eyes.
A child’s unyielding search for wonder, as she wanders, makes me wonder. Why don’t I?
How many small miracles have I missed? How often have I chased after the big thing — the promotion at work, the plush assignment, some sort of status or significance — while missing the wonder of the moment I’m wondrously in?
I’ve been a chronic miracle-misser. Children, I think, are born with that stubborn streak of wonder. Maybe we outgrow it, trade it in for stubborn streaks of personal ambition.
I think this is part of the reason why God gave me children — so I could see again. God is in the business of curing the blind. I know it firsthand: I am slowly regaining my vision, and now I have only begun to see visible signs of an invisible God everywhere. Everywhere, I tell you. He has soaked His world with wonder.
If we’ve outgrown our streak of wonder, then what would it take to make it fit again? I think about my closet, filled with things too small. If something is too small, we can’t generally make it bigger … we can only get smaller ourselves, so it fits again.
Yes, I need to get small. I need to decrease, so I can fit into my child-wonder again.
This blog — this post — is me, growing smaller.
I asked Anna, if she had any first-grader advice for big people who want to see like a kid. So here they are, Anna Lee’s Three Tips for Paying Attention:
BE LIKE AN OWL: “In my teacher’s classroom,” Anna tells us. “There’s a picture of an owl and some words that say, ‘This owl sits on a log. The less he talks, the more he learns. The more he learns, the less he talks. Why aren’t we all like that wise old owl?'”
SIT STILL: Anna says this is one of the rules posted on the wall of the classroom. If you’re moving around too much, she says, you can’t give your full attention to what’s right in front of you.
BE QUIET: “We’re supposed to be quiet when the teacher talks,” Anna says. This is true in life, too. When the Teacher is speaking, I want to be found at His feet, listening. Maybe with a fist-full of clover.
Writing in community with Laura Boggess and Michelle DeRusha …