Sunday, January 11, 2009


For no particular reason, I have been amazed lately. At everything. I can't seem to help myself - the snow falls and I think, "how amazing! It's white and fluffy and mutes the world and each flake is unique and it is just so stinkin' creative! How did he think of it?!" But I guess that's not so unusual - everyone looks at snow and thinks, neat-o. But there are some things that I've gotten hung up on lately that I think if taken to their farthest conclusion would render me certifiably insane.

For instance, our bodies. Have you ever thought about how cool they are? It takes foreign objects (like brussels sprouts and pork chops and sauer kraut), smooshes it all around in one organ with these chemicals and then takes the stuff that's in those foreign objects and uses it, magically, for the health and well-being of the rest of our body. And then there's the disposal system, which I won't go into here, but let's face it - it's pretty amazing too. Beyond food and that amazing process, there's what happens with blood. Blood brings all the nutrients to all of the other interdependent organs in the body. And, some of its cells fight the bad guys that sneak in with food and air and water. And, by some amazing process, the deoxygenated blood keeps itself separated from the oxygenated blood to and from the heart, which pumps non-stop, on demand at timely intervals from somewhere around two to three weeks of existence in the womb until the very last second here.

And don't even get me started on the brain, bones, joints, skin, muscles, five senses, spinal cord, lungs, liver, reproductive system. Besides the fact that they even exist and function, they grow! They heal! They change! They weaken and strengthen! They bend and wiggle and stretch and shrink!

It's amazing. AMAZING! The very hairs on our head are numbered. We don't have to look any farther than the fingerprints on our thumbs to see that we have been fearfully and wonderfully made, unique down to the microbiological level, with slight variations to make us different but ultimately half of the population could mate with the other half of the six billion people on the planet and create a fully-functional human with some new combination of chromosomes and DNA, with her grandma's curls, her daddy's blue eyes, and her momma's unusually shaped little toe.

I think part of this astonishment and wonder comes out of watching my children grow and learn. Elvis, my son, almost died when he was born because of problems with his lung development, even though he was full-term, and whenever he chokes on a cup of water, I remember those first few days. But thanks to the help of a bunch of healthcare physicians who were on the watch those first critical days and thanks to a miraculous Healer in heaven, who created bodies that can take on almost anything and still survive and thrive as if they had normal beginnings, he survived and looks and breathes just like any other 17-month old. It's amazing.

Lydia is just as amazing as Elvis - she has all of these words that come out of her mouth - phrases and word combinations and thoughts that are unique to her mind and heart. She has such compassion and care, such love and joy, and it just pours out. I certainly didn't teach these things to her - they are innate, stored up somewhere in her soul. And... to be repetitive... she's amazing.

I haven't even gotten into the other things that bring wonder and awe -- the seasons, the sunset, the earth and its solar system, the galaxy, the universe... zooming back in to the bees and pollenation, the trees and carbon dioxide and oxygen, the water cycle, the sea star, the sea horse, the grass... I could go on and on. I am in awe.

If you have a chance each day, think about something commonplace, something you've taken for granted. It doesn't have to be anything high and lofty - it could simply be the fact that you winked, or sneezed. Investigate it - what does it take to do this? Why do we sneeze? Why do we blink? How do we see, really? What is involved from a scientific standpoint? And then, once you've seen how complex that single process is, think bigger - cloud creation, volcanoes, earthquakes, oceans, ice, islands, palm trees, sand, rocks, stars, light, sound. And now that you've effectively overwhelmed yourself, think even bigger - all of this, everything and everyone, God created. God knows. God has touched. God has breathed the breath of life in each of us. God has the power to heal us of our deepest hurts and addictions. God has the power to be larger than the entire universe and yet more intimate than a lover.


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