a feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable.
We put up our Christmas tree last night. Within an hour and a half the room was transformed from chaotic and bland to sparkling brilliance. The ornaments reflect the white lights and the result is lovely.
Early this morning, sleepy-eyed and still in my pajamas, I went straight to the tree and plugged in the lights. Immediately, beauty filled the room inviting me to stop, inviting me to wonder.
Just a day before I began reading my friend Laura’s book of poetry called Give me the Word. It’s a slim volume, packed with beauty and depth. The first poem in the book made me pause and breathe slower, breathe easier.
“We have always been waiting, and not knowing, longing with tears for the One Who Comes.”
Through the pages of Laura’s book I received an invitation to stop and wonder, an invitation to wait expectantly.
Marketing all around me calls insistently, telling me that I won’t be complete unless I purchase this, buy that; convincing me that real love is things, that the way to show I care is by spending money. But in a moment, words on a page and twinkling white lights invite me to more. They invite me to wonder.
Long ago on a rooftop in Pakistan, my mom had an invitation to wonder. She felt alone and forgotten, miles from family and friends. That night she experienced wonder through unexpected visitors. In the midst of the Sindh desert in Pakistan our friends arrived and sang carols at our door, their presence an offering of love. It was the wonder of friendship that went the extra mile, offering friendship and joy. Every year I stop and remember this story, for it too is an invitation to wonder.
If we stop for a moment, we realize that all around us are invitations to wonder.
In all this, I am reminded of words I wrote a couple of years ago, when reflecting on my favorite Christmas story: Christmas is not magic that can quickly disappear. Instead it’s wonder. It’s the wonder of the incarnation; it’s the wonder of God’s love; it’s the wonder of angels heard from rooftops.