George Bailey told us it’s a wonderful life. But I’m here to tell you: It’s a Wonderstruck Life.
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.
And sometimes, it takes a child with a stubborn streak of attentiveness to discover them.
I remember now that moment, months ago, when my youngest daughter found 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 clover at the edge of the soccer field. I had passed it, but she had stopped and knelt. I turned around to tell her to hurry. But she was persistent after the miracles. She plucked them one by one.
This young girl’s 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 must be what it means to live wonderstruck, God-struck — to expect the Divine at every turn.
Sure, you can discover wonder in the aurora borealis or at the rim of the Grand Canyon. But you don’t have to look any farther than a patch of grass at the side of a soccer field to spy wonder, and to live alert.
And to kneel.
“How often do you pass by God’s presence and handiwork unaware?” That’s the question Margaret Feinberg wisely asks in her new book, Wonderstruck: Awaken to the Nearness of God.
Her book is a clarion, an artful call to live alert, and to attend to the moments and the beauty right here and now. It’s a game-changer, to live a Wonderstruck life.
These moments are “are all around us — not just in the sanctuary and sacraments,” Margaret writes. “God stoops beside our beds as we offer our evening prayers; he nestles on the couch as we open our homes to strangers, neighbors, friends; he waits in our laughter and tears, our thank yous and I love yous.”
I read Margaret’s words this past weekend, and I whispered my “yes,” again and again.
I remembered, as I read, how my daughters know instinctively what I have somehow unlearned: Wonder is where I am.
That day by the soccer field, Anna bent low over a handsome patch of clover. She plucked and cupped grace in her hands.
Watching her, I asked 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 the clover? When does a child outgrow wonder? And how does she get it back again?
I watched her, jealous for her eyes.
A child’s unyielding search for wonder, as she wanders, makes me wonder. Why don’t I always?
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.
Margaret writes: “The kingdom of God belongs to those who maintain childlike receptivity. Those who refuse to receive the kingdom of God like a child will miss it entirely.”
I want to be a kid again. I want to — as Margaret writes — sit on Jesus’ knee.
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 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, scattered with things-too-small. If something is too small, we can’t generally make the thing 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.
So, then, this is me, growing smaller. I want to see again.
I am excited to be a part of a team that is introducing people this month to Margaret’s amazing book. Wonderstruck releases December 25. Give yourself the present of wonder!
“This book and Bible study are for anyone who wants to live astounded by God and walk in the fullness of all He offers. With each page of Wonderstruck, may you discover another facet of God’s character, feel the soft pinch of His presence, and step back in astonishment at the One who holds you. So cup your hands in prayer. Scrunch your face against the vault of heaven in childlike expectation. As you pray for wonder, may you be wonderstruck. May you fall in love anew with a mysterious and wonder-filled God.” ~ Wonderstruck
With eyes on the heavens and His word in hand, Margaret Feinberg tells the wonders of God’s love in ways you’ve never known. Who in the world doesn’t need joy like this? ~ Ann Voskamp, author of One Thousand Gifts