As I ponder “What has surprised me?”, I think of my husband’s Uncle Herman who is now in hospice care… During our most recent visit he pretty much had just one response to everything he heard, which was “Wow!” If I ever come to a time in life where one word remains, I hope to be like Uncle Herman.This journaling image will also serve to remind me of a fairly recent Uncle Herman story. In the Dementia unit, he was given the task of opening the blinds every morning. No one, however, was allowed in the kitchen. Therein lie his dilemma… there were blinds in the kitchen. As he was opening them, he was caught by an attendant and without hesitation, Uncle Herman yelled out, “Surprise!”… yes, complete with jazz hands.
“Your eyes are windows into your body. If you open your eyes wide with wonder, your body fills up with light.” ~Matthew 6:22 (The Message)
pondering agápē and agāp(e); the first a noun meaning selfless love, the second an adjective meaning ‘with mouth wide open as in wonder’
“Divine potentiality–beautiful, fathomless, endlessly creative–projects itself into form in order to realize fully the depths of divine love… The act of loving brings hidden potential to full expression, and the more intimate and costly the self-giving, the more precious the quality of love revealed.” ~Cynthia Bourgeault, The Wisdom Jesus
“This is the greatness, the goodness, the wonder, the impossibility of the Gospel, that it asks of all of us something we – alone, apart, separate – cannot do! Only by living in love, in communion… do we find, every once in a while, a love flowing through us and toward us and from us that is bigger than our own.” ~Richard Rohr
Sometimes the simplest lines catch my breath, a sure sign they belong in my journaling.
A barn shall harbor heaven.
~a line from Richard Wilbur’s A Christmas Hymn
Mystery gets you.
At the core of everything is art. ~Calligrapher Mary McLeod
One of our final exercises from the Theological Conference was to create a mantra.
This was the one I shared:
Be loved. Trust your wonder.
We’ve never sung this song before.
Why is this stirring in me?
“Trust is built in the smallest of moments.” ~Pastor Sarah Ciavarri
At the Greater Milwaukee Synod Theological Conference, Pastor Sarah facilitated the Daring Way, a program based on Brené Brown’s work on vulnerability.
Sarah talked about the nudges we experience to help someone, calling them “wonder pings.” Such pings often lead us to moments of connection.