Friday, November 30, 2012

The Wonder of it All

"And is this the art of life-to keep awake to the wonders in His Word and this world?"
-Ann Voskamp

       We ran breathless up the station ramp, the double decker one, to reach the train before it pulled away.  A long freight carrying over 100 cars.   In our haste to get to it we didn't realize it was only inching forward with it's heavy load.  Suddenly it screeched, heaved again and abruptly stopped groaning as if it was dying on the tracks.  Still and now silent,  it filled up our whole view on the station platform.  We waited while I warned, Ian on my hip, for the older boys to stand back, it was sure to lurch forward at any moment.  We had never been so close.  
Only a broad yellow paint line infront of the drop off separated us from the frieght.  Ten minutes past and it didn't move.  We walked up and down it reading graffiti marks and examining the steel wheels.  I let Ian down warning them all again to not go near the worn paint line, to not touch the grimy sides of the box cars.  

Ian excited, chattered only words he could understand and walked up the platform slightly ahead of us.  Then, Ian slowed and stopped staring at something on the ground.  It was near the stone wall and massive plate windows.  The windows ran along the entire platform and all the way up to the overhang.  It was dead bird in the shape of a heart, wings folded and head to the side.  It must have just flown into the window breaking its neck while we were further down the platform.  My instinct was to move Ian and the boys along, away from the broken bird.  But Ian was mesmerized.  He thought it was sleeping.  He stood silent and wide eyed.  This thing that had only fluttered way out of reach of his chubby fingers  was now lying still at his feet.  He stared and whispered, hushed and thoughtful.   He didn't try to touch it or get too close.  He sat and looked down at his hands and back at the bird trying to figure out why this one didn't fly away.  A moment earlier I was snapping pictures of happy boys framed by a large boxcar behind them.  I snapped a picture now of this moment.  I had never seen Ian wear this expression, this body language.  His little hands resting on folded knees so calm.       
It was wonder, unanswered and unexplained that stilled him.  For me to explain why the bird was lying at his feet, why it couldn't fly, would have offered nothing to the moment.  He didn't need it explained to know it was sacred.  I love answers.  Days and blog posts that tie up neatly.  Weeks planned and lived out with a checklist in hand.  Lost in the busy rush of the days I forget to stop and look at God's world with wonder.  Especially the parts that are broken and damaged.  I rush past the moments that should have been something else, something better.   Struggle to look with awe at every twig and feather much less the muddy bare spots in the yard.  Can I stop and wonder.  Stop and praise a God who created, and gives and takes every moment we breath in and out.  

 I hope you get to stand in wonder of His gifts today.  I pray that God opens your eyes to see the way He creates beauty in all things even the broken ones.  I want to approach each day knowing it is a gift to be lived out intentionally, with joy and wonder.  Wonder that is not made up of naivety or  choosing to not see what is hard in this life.  But choosing to see it with new eyes.  Stopping to look at what He is doing and has already given.  And being able to say it is good because it is from Him. 

  Against all the hard cold steel, we were suprised to see bright green grass
growing from clumps of dirt on several of train cars.
"Every good and perfect gift is from above,
coming down from the Father of the
heavenly lights,
who does not change like
shifting shadows." 
James 1:17

Heading back to the van, our five minute stop turned an hour long.

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