April 30, 2016
-by Anna Fitch Courie
“It is through wonder that men now begin and originally began to philosophize; wondering in the first place at obvious perplexities, and then by gradual progression raining questions about the great matters too, for example, about the changes of the moon, and of the sun, about the stars and about the origin of the universe.”
Our family recently visited the “Wonder” exhibit at the Renwick Gallery in Washington, DC. The gallery is a part of the Smithsonian Museum collection and the current exhibit displays works from various artists who were challenged to represent the theme of “Wonder.”
It has been a long time since art has made me smile from my soul. The last time I reacted with all of my being was when I saw “The Pieta” in Rome. My whole self sang with Wonder.
My iPhone photos do not do the work justice. Suffice it to say you should come visit and enjoy the art in person. Perhaps your soul will sing with Wonder as well.
But as I sit pondering “Wonder” it led me down many paths of thought:
I wonder if my kids will know and love God.
I wonder if I am a good parent.
I wonder if I know what I’ll be when I grow up.
I wonder if there is more than “this” whatever “this” is.
I wonder why theology is so complicated. I wonder if we make it complicated.
I wonder at the resurrection. I wonder at the crucifixion. My heart hurts.
I wonder if the ends of time are coming.
I wonder if people think enough about the after-life, the community of saints and all the company of heaven.
I wonder if my husband thinks I am a little crazy. All writers are a little crazy.
I wonder if I will get to ask God my many questions. I wonder if I will care at that point.
I wonder if I am true to my voice in my writing. I wonder if I write the right things.
I wonder if people wonder too.
I wonder that a blazing blue sky follows natural destruction.
I wonder at politics.
I wonder when we became so easily offended, so quick to respond to anger, so quick to label, and so quick to cast judgment.
I wonder why people get sick.
I wonder if 2 or 3 gathered together is enough.
I wonder if my hazelnut is enough, or if my mustard seed will grow.
I wonder at rainbows. I wonder at the stars. I wonder at light.
I wonder at this amazing world that God has created.
I wonder how God delights in us.
I stand and turn and look. My heart fills with people, places, art. My eyes are dazzled by color, form, and flow. My skin contracts both hot and cold. I shiver. My nose inhales a hint of loam. It senses the earth around us. My ears, my broken ears they hear, birds, whispers, voices….my ears hear my children’s voices. I am overwhelmed. My soul sings with wonder for God.
I wonder, wonder, wonder.
I wonder about God.
I wonder about many things. On what does your mind wonder?
Mary Wright Baylor
This is Wonder-ful. I almost wrote one using the Renwick exhibit but it would have paled in comparison to this. It’s awe-some. Thank you!!
May we never stop wondering ~ questioning to discover or praising in appreciation!
I too, wonder a lot!
I wonder if my granddaughters will grow in this thing we call the Mystery of Christ.
And the list of wonders go on forever-thanks be to God!
I’m not the world’s greatest gardner, but I’m pretty sure hazelnuts and mustardseeds thrive on wonder. Thank you for this beautiful essay and accompanying images.
Thank you! I, too love this wonder-filled exhibit. Our teen grandsons declared it the best art exhibit they’ve ever seen. No wonder!
I will keep your wonder-list for future meditation. Thanks, Anna.