Two new angles on awe. The first is based on my dumbfounded reaction reading Mary Karr’s story. It helps me understand the reaction of Zechariah’s neighbors when his voice came back (Luke 1:63-66). God astounds us not only through nature’s wonders and Jesus’ or the Holy Spirit’s self-revelation, but through ordinary people. An old new dad. A young alcoholic mom. A retired fisherman and his friends (Acts 2:43).
Second, I believe we can prime ourselves for being awed. How? It’s a gut reaction isn’t it? Heart-stopping, jaw-dropping amazement! Yes, but stone hearts never pause or skip a beat. Jaws under stiff upper lips don’t drop. Gut-wrenching anger, addiction and poverty numb the capacity for awe as does arrogance and self-aggrandizement. Awe is a childlike, healthy fear of the unknown, balanced with excitement and eager wonder. So, hang out with children. Go for a walk at a new time of day or in a place you haven’t walked before. Read a Psalm or gospel chapter and mull over a word that grabs you. Be still and know (Psalm 46:10). Learn to listen with your heart. Get to know someone like Martin Luther King, Jr. or Mary Karr. Stand in awe!
Footnote: my devotional book, co-published with Pleasant Word, the print-on-demand division of WinePress, has been out almost two years. Time for some fresh mulling on each of the 26 words in preparation for a new edition with a new publisher.