Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Only Wonder


Back when I began to call myself a writer, when with trepidation I adopted one of Vistaprint's ready-made business card designs and put my name on it, I allowed myself one customization, which was this quote:

Concepts create idols; only wonder grasps anything.
Gregory of Nyssa

People would look at that and ask - usually it was the non-writers who asked - what does it mean?

The vibe was all Evangelical suspicion. Should a Christian believe this? And wasn't Gregory of Nyssa a Catholic?

I never knew how to answer the question. It was like the Emporer's New Clothes - only sewn by truthful tailors. If they didn't grasp the meaning of the quote, then...

Or maybe I'm the naked emporer, and the tailors were liars after all.

But still I believe. I believe that when we think we understand, we've stopped far short. I believe that beauty is God's deepest mystery. I believe that when things look their ugliest, there is beauty to be found, and the longer it takes to find it, the more it will take our breath away when it appears.

All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

From one loving Christian to another: If there is a God and he is good and sovereign, how could it be any different?


12 comments:

Rebecca Jean Downey said...

"To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." Colossians 1:27

Kathleen Popa said...

Rebecca, Amen!

Marian said...

Now that you mention it, I'd much rather read (and write) a book full of wonder than one presenting idols.

Cherry Odelberg said...

You made me laugh and sigh. Thank you.

Megan Sayer said...

Katy this makes me breathe in deeply, smile, and sigh contentedly. They are just those kinds of words.
I like your brain. It's a good brain.
Thanks for writing.

Marcia said...

"Concepts create idols; only wonder grasps anything. "

Now that's a quote worth remembering; thanks for sharing it, Katie.

It brings to mind contrasts. Legalism and grace. The Old Testament and the New. The picture contrasted with the real Person.
...................

On wonder:

Can the depth of a person's relationship with God be glimpsed by witnessing their depth of wonder at a magnificent sunset?

I recall Beth Moore telling about being moved to tears by a sunset. God seemed to whisper to her, "Don't say 'I love You' to Me; say 'I love You, too.'"

Henrietta Frankensee said...

Wonder takes humility. "There's something beyond and bigger than anything I imagined."
Definitely a whole lot of 'cannot enter the kingdom unless you become like a child'. If you lose your sense of wonder hang out with little ones until the tarnish wears off. I remember taking my two year old to the mall newly decorated for Christmas. Her eyes shone, she caught her breath and oooooooed at every step. The whole season was renewed for me.

Henrietta Frankensee said...

Has anyone read Beauty, The Invisible Embrace by John O'Donohue? I have read 33 pages in 2 weeks because it is so rich in images and surprises. I just read something on page 33 I think applies to this discussion:
"These are depths that no words can trawl or light unriddle."
Think about light unriddling something.... Being a writer means taking time to wonder at words.

Kathleen Popa said...

Marian, me too. :)

Cherry, Megan - gosh, thanks!

Marcia, I love that: "I love you, too.

Henrietta, I'll have to look up The Invisible Embrace. Yes, it does take humility, doesn't it?

Thanks, everyone, for your comments.

suzy Parish said...

Beautiful Beautiful! I love it!

Karen Schravemade said...

You always make me think, Katy. Love your way of looking at the world.

Karen Schravemade said...

And Henrietta, I love that phrase about light.