Sometimes I feel so overwhelmed at the beauty of creation. At the staggering mysteries of the universe. This morning, I looked at my little seedlings of cabbage and collards and kale and romanesco sprouting in the peat pots and it made me so happy it nearly hurt. In my mind, I climbed inside the spongy soil and hugged a tiny stem and sat under a 1/4 inch leaf and fell asleep on its tiny trunk with a book on my lap. I marveled at the seedlings' bravery, waking from dry death and finding life at their core, reaching up out of the grave and moving toward light and life and rebirth. Each morning, I check their progress, cheer them on, and speak words of joy and wonder to anyone who'll listen. Look! They're so big today! Look how many! Oh, there's a new one! Come see! It's just so amazing.
I know that you think I'm a mental case. I can see it in your eyes when I tell you about things like magical sprouts or the mathematical fractals and natural tessellation found in nature or the red worms that I have vermicomposting in a closed bin in my kitchen and how I'm so excited about the hard work they do. Or when I speak about space or infinity or the strong force that inexplicably holds together every nucleus of every atom in every part of the known universe and how it just might be the hand of God that binds each one. When Paul writes in Colossians, "He is before all things, and in him all things hold together," I believe that this is a literal and profound statement about how intrinsically intertwined our Creator is with his creation. And I find myself crushingly awestruck.
"When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?" Psalm 8:3-4
Reading this scripture, I am laying next to the psalmist David in the damp grass, surrounded by warm nestled sheep, looking up into the expanse of the heavens with fascination, both of us nearly losing our bearings in the swirling marvel of light and darkness.
And I have come to this conclusion. Some have the gift of teaching. Some of leadership. Some of prophecy. Some of organization and helpfulness. Some of empathy.
I have the gift of wonder.
I know it is a gift because it had no origin, no beginning, no source of earning or learning or acquisition. One of my earliest memories is laying on my belly in the school yard with my feet in the air, chin on my forearms, four inches from the ground, staring at a patch of white clover weed. I remember abandoning myself to the striations of the leaf veins, the heart shaped leaves, the white flower petals that grew from soft pink legs that all came together to produce this thing, this thing of intense beauty that made perfect sense in the world but for which I had such a strong feeling, an ache that I could neither explain nor describe except to exhale slowly and say, wow.
The gift that you gave me has not been squandered. It has not waned. I still say wow, God. For the work of your hands is indeed a thing of wonder.