A Wonderful Moment Missed – Br. David Vryhof
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A few days ago I held a baby. That might not seem like such a remarkable thing, but I can’t remember the last time I’ve had a chance to do it. I suspect it’s been a couple of years. Babies don’t frequent monasteries much.
Holding a baby is wonderful. That is, it’s an experience full of wonder. I marveled at his tiny fingernails, perfectly shaped on the end of delicate little fingers. And his full brown eyes, captivated by the lights in the ceiling of the chapel. The incredible softness of his head against my cheek, and the sweet smell of his hair. At first he was squirming, but then he settled in, dropped his head on my shoulder and relaxed. I could feel his breathing. I thought, what a miracle! To be alive! To be breathing, and seeing, and hearing, and touching. Wonderful!
The world is full of wonder. Each day packed with one marvelous mystery after another. But often we miss them. We’re racing around with lots of very important things to do and we’re preoccupied with anxiety and care about what’s happened or what might happen. We ourselves are mysteries so complex and intricate – works of wonder, through and through. But often we miss seeing that.
I thought about this when I read the gospel lesson for today, where Jesus restores a man’s withered hand. What a wonderful thing! A miracle, really. Beyond explanation. A moment when life was given and received. And yet, it seems that many of those present missed it completely. Often we read that people were amazed when Jesus did miraculous things, that they were filled with awe and wonder. But here they are skeptical, critical, suspicious, looking for some way to trip him up. ”Ah, see, he ignores the customs of the Sabbath! There’s good cause to turn him in! We’ve got him now!”
They were witnessing a miracle. A moment of wonder. A moment of beauty and awe. A God moment. And yet they didn’t see how full of wonder it was. They had their own agenda, their own concerns, and these blinded them to the mystery of the moment.
It’s a lesson we must learn. Today, stay awake. Be alert. Be on the lookout for moments of wonder, signs of grace, revelations of beauty, glimpses into the mystery of life, and of God. Or we may well miss the miracle that is right before our eyes.
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January 22, 2017 Epiphany 3,
My husband and I were in church , Trinity, Vero Beach, Fla, where we attend as snowbirds from Michigan in the winter, as we read the program booklet, we noticed our names listed under the parish prayer list! Surprise and wonder filled our thoughts…who could have done that, we are not known at Trinity. Our family in Michigan!….a wonderful moment that a dear person had felt our need of prayers, an angel of mercy, for indeed we both have been struggling with health issues that come along at 86 years old. A moment of awe and wonder for us, Br. David, a mystery of life that was a blessing on Epiphany 3.
This is why I have a bird feeder hanging from a branch where I can see it while I pray. I focus on the wonder of the tiny bodies fluttering around and the sudden flash of bright red or blue as a cardinal or jay invades. Only God could create such colour and complex frames.
Your message reminds me of a line from an Elizabeth Barrett Browning poem. “Earth’s crammed with heaven and every common bush afire with God; But only he who sees takes off his shoes. The rest sit around it and pluck the blackberries.” Thank you for reminding me to look at those camellia blooms with a deeper appreciation.
It’s a day of wonder as Patrick and I March in DC with so many others- mostly young women full of hope! Wonder, kindness, brilliance and spirit in abundance!
Thank you. I needed a big reminder today that God is at work around me, and all I have to do is notice… in other words, a gift that I might have missed because I am so preoccupied with the news on the radio. That reality gives me hope.
I too have found myself with feet in both worlds because of a morbid obsession with current world / country happenings. When I step away and open my heart and mind to His kingdom growing all around and I am greatly blessed by its beauty and holiness. Much prefer to exist there and let God be God in the other world “trusting that He will make all things right.” Lord Jesus come…
I too have been overwhelmed when holding my great niece. Such a miracle!
Yes, without a keen awareness and an ear to hear, I know we miss so many
miracles. I pray that God shall open my eyes and ears to sense his miraculous presence today. Thank you for your message. REW