Living with Awe and Wonder

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Written by Jolene DeHeer

When we lived in San Diego the temperature was 75-80 degrees every day. Each morning we were wakened by glorious sunshine and we all took it for granted. Similarly, I have noticed when one has been born and raised surrounded by God’s grace and exposed to His love every day, we can easily become complacent and not realize how profoundly blessed we are.

We can lose our sense of awe and wonder that God has chosen to love us, to be in relationship with us, to empower and use us.

If we did slow ourselves down and open our minds to ponder the scope of God’s love, we would be breathless…filled with awe and wonder.

But are we?

Or have we become so used to being enfolded in His love, we begin to take it for granted?

Whether we are raised in the church or not, I would guess there is that moment when we first realize the full extent of God’s love and our souls are filled with awe and wonder.

Whenever I read Mark 10:13-16 (Jesus and the little children), I am reminded of that moment. Next time you read it, put yourself in the story, use all your senses, and experience it.

Here is what I experience as I use my holy imagination:  I see Jesus resting on a rock in the shade of a tree while his disciples scurry around trying to control the large group of moms and their children.  They even speak a little harshly to some of the pushier moms insisting Jesus is too busy and too tired to deal with them right now.

I am standing of the very periphery of the scene.  My mom isn’t with me. She never is.  I am always alone.  I am dirty and scraggly and some of the moms have pulled their children away from me like I was contagious or something.  Other moms have told me to go away. But no matter what they say, I cannot tear my eyes away from Jesus.  His face is so kind.   His smile so pure. There is something about him that compels me to stay.

Then it happens, he looks up and sees me standing apart and he beckons me forward.

At first, I am not sure he means me, then he says my name. My heart begins beating so fast and I am very scared, but I can’t resist the pull to go to him.  As I walk through the crowd, I hear the mothers and other kids say unkind things, but it doesn’t matter.

I must be with Jesus.

It seems like it takes an eternity to walk the short distance, but finally I am standing in front of Jesus. I am too afraid to look up, but I feel his strong hands gently lift me up to his lap.  One arm encircles me while the other hand gently draws my head to rest against His chest. I can hear his heart beating. I feel so safe and protected. Then I feel him tenderly kiss the top of my head and start to tell me how precious I am to him. I finally find the courage to look into his eyes and what I see there fills me with awe and wonder…he looks at me with so much love I can barely breath.

Jesus loves me! Jesus loves me! Jesus love me!

And it is not just me he loves.  He loves you, your family, your neighbors, your friends, and even your enemies.  He loves those who look and act like you and he loves those totally different than you are. “Jesus loves me…” may those simple, profound words fill each of us every day with renewed awe and wonder at the scope of God’s grace and love.

It has been over fifty years since I first encountered Christ and I am still filled with awe and wonder.  Each morning when I wake up my very first thought is always God saying to me, “Good morning, my beloved,” and every morning I am filled anew with awe and wonder that I am a cherished child of the Most High King.

May I never lose that…may we never lose that.

May we live with awe and wonder every day of our lives.

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