Mar 22, 2010

Capturing the Wonder

My son and I have gone for a drive to experience the morning’s winter wonderland. At our first stop the sun suddenly appears, turning the already beautiful scene into one of astonishing wonder that takes our breath away: trees robed in blinding white hoar frost; each blade of grass coated in purest rime, the sun turning each frozen droplet into a dazzling, colourful, prism. Diamonds of joy sparkle at our feet and all around us, purifying our spirits, refreshing our souls.

This moment must be shared. Somehow we have to capture this incredible beauty. Will my basic camera be up to the task? Perhaps not, but surely my son’s state of the art photo equipment will gather up these glorious, muticoloured, glinting rainbows. Sometimes his photos actually intensify the wonder of the original scene.

Not this time. The pictures are lovely; delicately rime-covered trees, bushes, and grass, backed by blue sky. But where are the sparkling, dancing colours? Where is the sensational aura and spiritual wonder?

I can only conclude that neither words nor pictures are adequate to express some things. They can only be captured by experience. Description falls flat – and may not even be believed without photographic proof.

Isn’t God’s love like that? It is easy to talk about, but must be experienced to be understood, even minimally. How could Jesus choose to resolutely walk to Jerusalem, when he knew with near certainty that death awaited him there? How could he allow himself to be nailed to the cross, when he had more than “ten thousand angels” at his command (Mt.26:53)? How can I explain to someone else what it feels like to be wrapped in God’s love?

There are no photos, and description won’t do it. My only hope of coming close to communicating this great gift is to practice it; to allow God’s love to flow through me in demonstrating caring to someone who is in pain; to someone who feels unloved; to someone who has hurt me.

Come with me to experience the awe of God’s creation. Come with me to know the wonder of God’s love.

Doreen Neufeld
Calgary, Alberta
Photo by Doreen Neufeld

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