The Return to Wonder

I thank You God for most this amazing day…and for everything which is natural which is infinite which is yes how should tasting touching hearing seeing breathing any… ...human merely being doubt unimaginable You? (now the ears of my ears awake and now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

E. E. Cummings, I thank you God


Jesus 'showed them his hands and his feet. They still could not believe, there were so full of joy and wonder'. At his ascension he blessed his disciples and departed and ‘they worshipped him, and went back into Jerusalem, filled with great joy’ (Luke 24:40,52).

It looks like the disciples’ post-resurrection experiences of Jesus continue as they started, with surprise, with terror, with amazement and doubt, giving way to a dawning recognition. He’s crossed-over, returned more mysterious and yet also more real and natural than ever. It’s not the end of the story more a pattern. This world is not the end. My private world of thoughts and feelings are not the sum total. Greyness and dullness turn to brilliance and a crisp Yes, the senses and body re-affirmed. Through overwhelming crises, some descent of sorts and the emergence of surprising unmerited relief the fragile heart and mind expand.


The theologian Walter Bruggemann writes of the life-faith pattern in the Psalms of orientation, dis-orientation and new orientation. The movements from ordered peace to confused disarray and unsuspected rescue and renewal. Such upheavals create holes, dents for faith to expand into, worship to be drawn and joy to be had. The disciples's eyes are opened; their doubt and fear turned to awe and wonder. A new place opens up in them - now they worship this touching, breathing and unimaginable man Jesus. So, I guess we too are placed in this periodic rythmn of surprise and a return to wonder.