The Summer of Awe and Wonder

Delight filled His mind as He thought of all she would discover about life, about Him, and about her place in the world. Would she follow His whispers? Would she receive His invitation?

He led her into the forests, along seashores, through the thickets. She, with camera in hand, collecting samples to draw, awakened to wonder. He, beaming with joy, as her heart filled with life again.

Days welcome now as she anticipates new discoveries and clues about who He is, His nature, and His ways.  Exploring and beholding His living gallery she sees more of the artist Himself. Joy begins to overtake sorrow. Beauty begins to replace pain.

He, excited, to see her heart thrill with a new design, a new pattern, a new species she hadn’t seen before, now thoughtfully appreciated and researched to find it’s purpose, it’s reason for existing and it’s unique characteristics.

Woodpeckers have self-sharpening beaks? Squirrels plant forests with their buried and forgotten seeds? Trees communicate underground? 

Smaller and smaller became the details she noticed, whole worlds of sea life and insects: an inchworm floating by in the wind with its silk sail setting its direction, a neon green anemone in the sand with its tentacles resembling a koosh ball, a group of tide pool scalpins with their jagged fins sticking out, a volcanic rock that floated when she put it in water. She even learned about phytoplankton and the vast array of microorganisms inhabiting the seas in a precisely designed self-sustaining system.

Larger and larger became the details she noticed, the wind and how it works, the moon and how it sets the tides, the water cycle, the rock cycle, how earthquakes decrease and volcanoes increase land. The dimension and tilt of the earth, atmospheric gases and why we can breathe, the electromagnetic field surrounding the globe, gravity, atomic structure, electrons, biodiversity, global ecosystems, and with each new glimpse, fresh awe and wonder at the intricate systems governing life.

And awe and wonder at how resilience, the ability to reproduce, self-perpetuate, and even in some cases, regenerate are a part of how life was designed. Soon Geology, Botany, Biology, Astronomy, Oceanography, Chemistry, Physics, and Ecology were no longer isolated fields of study to her, but parts of a whole, all intertwined, all interdependent, all working together, all His grand idea and created as one.

And so it went during the months of awe and wonder. Pictures of different types of tree bark, collections of rocks and driftwood, leaves in all shapes and sizes were collected, mosses and ferns admired, flowers studied and enjoyed, plants and bushes identified and marveled at, moose photographed, squirrels observed, wild mushrooms investigated, and a wide array of birds celebrated as they nested in the backyard or came to feed in the richly forested area behind the house.

Genesis 1 and 2, Job 38-41, and Psalm 104 came alive as she read over and over about the account of creation, the glories of nature and its design, and about this One who watches over the fawns and fathers the drops of dew.

Her mind so happily engaged, her heart so full of wonder, she hardly noticed the new level of peace that began to permeate her soul from experiencing the awe of God as Creator.

She began to write about what she experienced during those hours in the woods, those hours on the beach and in the fields. Words flowed from her, celebrating His handiwork, His designs, His patterns, His textures, His brilliance, His wisdom, His creativity, His goodness, and His love, all so evident in His works.

By the end of the summer, without any effort or awareness on her part, a reservoir of water had started to form in her, in a place long dry. The kind of reservoir used to persevere, cope, and overcome, the kind that supplied strength to move forward, and the ability to handle frustration and disappointment.

It had somehow trickled in with each ocean wave she saw, each tree she touched and photographed, each tide pool she had waded through with her bare feet, each drop of fragrant tree sap she had breathed in as perfume, and each song she had heard of the sparrows, warblers, and thrushes. It grew in size as her mind and heart had filled with all she had experienced of life, beauty, and goodness in beholding Him through the works of His hands.

She has been surprised by this, but this had been His plan all along.

Psalm 104: 24 “How many are your works, Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.

Psalm 92:4 “For you make me glad by your deeds, Lord; I sing for joy at the works of your hands.”

Copyright © Tender Road Journeys 2021 All Rights Reserved

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