Teach Me, God, to Wonder

3-1By Mikal Shedd of Independence, Missouri, USA

He called a child, whom he put among them, and said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.

—Matthew 18:2–5

He’s concentrating hard, trying to figure out how this works. Not yet 2 years old, my nephew is encountering his first crayon. He’s familiar with pens and pencils and can spend a long time, for a toddler, spreading the spindly marks carefully across paper. However, this is clearly different. He turns the crayon repeatedly, looking at each end, touching the paper. He sniffs it, but doesn’t taste it.

My sister takes the crayon from him, and colors one of the pictures. He watches in amazement. She finishes the picture and moves the coloring book in front of him.

There is stunned silence.

He picks up a crayon and looks at it again. He colors a few scribbles, stops and looks at it again. He looks up at my sister, eyes wide, startled, questioning.


The discussion over Jesus’ command to become as a little child must include wonder. A lightning bug, a dust bunny, a new crayon—we miss the amazement. We forget to be awed by the spider, spinning its web, seeing only cobwebs and spider bites. No longer do we see the beauty of a dew-studded network. We no longer wonder, “How does it do that?”

In wonder, the spirit awakens and takes over; the mind awakens, the curiosity quickens. We come alive. We encounter the kingdom anew.

How do you keep your life filled with wonder? Find one thing each day to truly wonder about: the color purple, a blue moon, a thousand cranes circling a marsh.          Wonder.

It is the highest form of praise.

Prayer for Peace
Wonder-full God, awaken me to the wonder in the world around me.

Spiritual Practice: Listening to Children
Sit in your quiet place and center your heart and mind on God’s presence. Spend several minutes asking God to bring into your awareness the names and images of children in your life. You may see their faces or hear their voices as you receive these impressions. Listen deeply to the unique gifts and needs of the children who come to mind. Offer a prayer of blessing for each child and the needs you perceive. You also may want to write a note or card and give a message of affirmation and love to each child.

Peace Covenant
Today, God, I will find wonder in a new particle of creation.

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