Losing the Wonder
I wonder sometimes if I am losing the wonder. Post-Oxford blues cripple my spirit, longing beckons me to come feel the enchantment again. Of something bigger than me, something outside of normal, something so magnificent it brings me to my knees in wonder.
When we first arrived in Oxford, I was overwhelmed. History, culture, beauty awaited around every corner. Cobblestone streets led to book stores containing first editions, vintage thrift shops, and enticing cafes. Christ Church, the Bridge of Sighs, the Bodleian--their architecture alone spoke of something other, something richer, something deeper.
But there was something further still that birthed the wonder. Walking through Port Meadow, Seven Sisters, or Boars Hill the silence and solitude urged a hunger for something more, something of worth, something of great mirth.
To Make Great Mirth
“Now let us stint all this and speak of mirth.” ~Reflections on the Psalms
Mirth. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines mirth as “gladness or gaiety as shown by or accompanied with laughter.” In Nehemiah 8:12, after the 50,000 exiles heard the word of the Lord read to them, it says “... all the people went their way to eat, and to drink ... and to make great mirth, because they had understood the words that were declared unto them.”
The people were celebrating with great mirth the Scriptures that they had just heard. The result of hearing the Word was laughter, gladness, and gaiety.
When we understand the Word of the Lord it produces laughter in our lives. We marvel in the testimony of truth. We are invoked to wonder.
When I took the time to be still and listen in the Oxford countryside, I heard His words of life and let them permeate my spirit. Wonder replaced my worry, stress, and disillusionment. The wind in the trees, the cows in the meadow, the sound of the birdsong all testified to the wonder of something greater. I found myself laughing at the strangest of things. Mirth invaded my spirit.
Witness to the Wonder
I look forward each week to the few hours I have alone on Saturday morning. My Norse-man is kind enough to give this homeschooling momma a few hours of peace and quiet each week. This morning, on the way to the coffee shop, I happened upon a distressing car accident. It’s always traumatic when you are one of the first people to arrive on the scene, before EMTs and fire engines arrive. The vehicle was overturned on it’s side at one of Charlotte’s busiest intersections. There were two good Samaritans on the side of the car trying to get in as someone was trapped inside.
My first thought was, “Is it going to blow?” (Testimony to one too many action and adventure movies watched with my husband). But what struck me more than anything were the amount of onlookers videoing the tragedy and taking pictures. Joggers and walkers all stopped dead in their tracks to take in the wonder of a horrifying car accident.
This is what invokes wonder in our day and age.
Why do we feel the need to video someone else’s tragedy? Has our fascination with drama and death made us subhuman? Have we reduced wonder to the desperate plight of others?
I was not a witness to the accident. I did not actually see it transpire, but I was a witness to the aftermath: the trapped victim, gawking pedestrians, the few good Samaritans. I left the scene visibly shaking, praying for the victim trapped inside. As I pulled away, a cop had just arrived and was trying to get inside the SUV.
I thought of those joggers and walkers who would soon post their Facebook or Instagram photos as witnesses to the wonder of the accident.
Then the Lord brought this verse to my mind,“‘You are my witnesses,’ declares the Lord, ‘that I am God.’” (Is. 43:12)
I am a witness to the greatest wonder this world has ever known.
Is it possible that the best antidote to losing the wonder is being a witness to it? We live in a wonderland of beauty: the trees dance to the rhythm of the wind He has made, the flowers bloom in the light of the sun, the radiance of His glory. All around me wonder is waiting to be discovered, to be witnessed to.
Mirth is not only found in the ancient streets of Oxford, it’s also found out on our second acre here in Charlotte. The girls ride their bikes laughing that they can bike so far through the trees. My mountain man climbs on his John Deere and is king of the world for the next few hours of mowing. These visions of my family welcome me into the wonder of the Creator of life itself.
I am a witness that He is God.
This is wonder. This is great mirth. As the exiles understood the Word that was spoken to them, I understand that I am also called to be a witness to this Word. And as I bear witness that He is God, I am caught up in the wonder of all that entails.
I am lost IN the Wonder.