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A Little Wonder…

May 10, 2011

It was a long week.

Work was busy. Traffic was horrible. I arrived home tired and grumpy.

The kids asked me to push them on the swing set in our back yard but I was determined to help with dinner. As is often the case, they won. After all, there is strength in numbers.

The lengthening shadows of evening made the air cool, almost crisp, especially for early May in Central Texas.

I pushed Linc “super duper high,” and suddenly he was transported to another place, flying the fastest spaceship known to man.

Emily climbed the swing chains like a trapeze artist.

Lorelei let out a giggle as my clumsy hands buckled her into her green plastic baby swing. The backyard filled with the incessant chatter that only three kids aged five and under can produce.

I tried to let go, to give myself to the moment. I faked it for a few minutes, keeping two swings and 2.5 conversations moving at once. Meanwhile, my mind worked to compartmentalize the work day that was and the evening that was to come.

Minutes passed and I finally looked down, catching sight of my youngest daughter, eyes closed, arms outstretched, head lifted towards heaven and crazy red hair blowing in the swing breeze.

“Yes,” I thought, somewhat enviously, “that’s what it’s all about.”

Detached from this moment, thousands of years ago, Jesus said, “I have come that you may have life and may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10)

A little while after that, St. Irenaeus said, “The glory of God is man fully alive.”

Curious he didn’t say, “the glory of God is man fully studying theology,” or “The glory of God is man’s intellectual seeking.” Personally, I fall in to the foolish trap of trying to find God in my own mind.

Today’s understanding is tomorrow’s confusion. That’s how it works with a God who wraps Himself in mystery. Our minds may bend towards the divine, but they pale in comparison to the power of our hearts set ablaze in wonder of Him.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us, “The beauty of creation reflects the beauty of the creator…” (341), but you don’t have to read the Catechism to know that. Your heart already knows it. The only thing standing between us and the full appreciation of this realization is our reluctance to look up to the heavens, stretch out our arms and feel the breeze blow over us.

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