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Be moved to wonder.

be moved to wonder

People are moved to wonder by mountain peaks, by vast waves of the sea, by broad waterfall on rivers, by the all-embracing extent of the ocean, by the revolutions of the stars. But in themselves they are uninterested. --St. Augustine

There is a deep place in my soul for those things that move me to wonder, that call out from a bigger Existence—the Greater Than. I've never truly felt that I had eyes to see or ears to hear, but I long for my senses to reach past the stillness and silence and detect a small whisper of a Something.

Do you know this feeling? This deep wanting, waiting, watching?

I can see It and hear It most clearly when I am taking in those mountain peaks and vast waves and broad waterfalls. These things speak such a strong language of Createdness to me. It all works. It all dances together. How else than by some Plan?

I'm not the only one drawn to such a wonder.

“The world rests in the night. Trees, mountains, fields, and faces are released from the prison of shape and the burden of exposure. Each thing creeps back into its own nature within the shelter of the dark. Darkness is the ancient womb. Nighttime is womb- time. Our souls come out to play. The darkness absolves everything; the struggle for identity and impression falls away. We rest in the night.” ~John O'Donohue

The atmosphere, the earth, the water and the water cycle - those things are good gifts. The ecosystems, the ecosphere, those are good gifts. We have to regard them as gifts because we couldn't make them. We have to regard them as good gifts because we couldn't live without them. ~Wendell Berry

Some part of my soul relaxes when I see the “universe of nature”, and I’m reminded that it doesn’t need to be much, or for very long, or even very far before nature touches me. ~SARK

"Keep close to Nature's heart... and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean." ~John Muir

"Whatever peace I know rests in the natural world." ~May Sarton

"The closer you get to real matter, rock air fire wood, boy, the more spiritual the world is."~ Jack Kerouac

This kind of seeing, hearing, and touching can only come from a stillness of heart. I am learning that. I am learning to quiet myself enough that my soul has a moment to wonder.

And in all that wonder, a light flicks on in me. A yearning to put that light into something that others can see and take in.

This is the call for you and for me: To receive what we've been given then pass it along, compelled by our own abundance and gratitude.

Have you "wondered" lately? Have you heard and seen and felt? Have you allowed yourself to sense some other Bigness? Have you taken in your abundance lately in order to share it, passing it along like loaves and fishes?

If not, I challenge you to be moved to wonder. To come to the place of open-heartedness and receive what the world has to give you. Take it all in, what is coming and what is already there. And then pass along as much as you can.

This is the call to life. This is the call to creativity. This is the call to stewardship.

They showed me who they were.

Imagine holding up your secrets for everyone to see. Or maybe your quiet thoughts from just-before-sleeping or from driving down the road by yourself. Or from a longer-than-usual and hotter-than-usual shower that you really needed for your body and mind to settle down a bit. Imagine taking all of those things and packing them into your car for a room-full of strangers.

But, then, here's the crazy thing: Imagine wanting to do this. Imagine this being a dream come true.

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We loaded in and set up for a beautiful fundraiser—an opportunity to support the changing of lives in corners of the world I can't reach with my own two hands. But I carried in what I had. I carefully set it out, heart pounding over what they would think and what they would say. Or if they would care at all. I saw a few familiar faces and heard "oh I know your mama and daddy." But most didn't have expectations of me at all.

I invited them into the art gallery, explaining that this was a chance for them to "listen" to what the art was saying—engage with art as they would engage with the music and lyrics they'd just heard. Let it speak to them. Let it draw truth out of them.20130326-131611.jpg

That's the "why" of my art. To share truth. To share the world as I see it and as I so desperately want to see it. Art is a conversation, both between me & God and between me and those viewing.

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The response was beyond what I anticipated. Story after story. Question after question: tell me about this piece, what were you thinking, what does this mean.

And I told them. And then they told me. I heard stories of homes destroyed. Marriages destroyed. Lives destroyed. I didn't say it, but I knew the truth of my art—a dance of joy and sorrow, pain and contentment. They answered my questions with questions of their own. They responded to my whispered confessions with tears and stories and memories. And hope and healing.

And I was changed because they showed me who they were.