The Last Time I Felt Wonder...

When was the last time you felt wonder? 

It may seem like an odd question, but it is a question we should think about and reflect on. There are many things to marvel at and appreciate, but rarely do we pay specific attention to those moments. So I posed the question to others and asked them to describe what made them feel wonder and what it was like. Here are their responses, lightly edited for length and clarity, with names included when requested. 

  • When I was walking my dog, the sun was setting. There were so many different shades of red and purple and orange. Seeing all the colors behind the different types of clouds made me stop and feel like I was a part of something much larger. –Anonymous  

  • My moment of awe is not a positive one. Frankly, it has only reminded me of the magnitude of how life really is out of our hands. Recently, my alma mater suffered a traumatic loss of two young students. One of them I knew through my employment, and found myself in a sad kind of awe involved with his sudden passing. The last time I saw him, we were talking about how the people we knew are connected from somewhere, and laughed about “how small our world is.” Hearing of his situation only the night before his passing, reminded me of this in a sad, wondering way. I couldn’t imagine my world being so small that I would lose someone I knew closely. We weren’t intimate friends, but I valued his company and humor more than I thought. I’m in awe that the people who touch you in such small ways, can impact you the most when they pass. Hopefully, this wonder will influence myself, and others, to remember to cherish every positive impact as much as possible. No matter how small they may seem. – Mackenzie 

  • Last night I watched my daughter perform in a group play where she played a lead role. She hadn’t rehearsed much so I didn’t have any expectations for her performance. I was in awe of her as she genuinely portrayed emotions and brought her character to life in front of an audience of strangers. I had no idea she had that kind of talent. Parenting brings an endless supply of wonder moments, but it’s always amazing to discover something new about someone you thought you knew so well. –Kathie 

  • The last time I was in absolute awe of something I was in Oregon. Meditating atop a boulder the size of a Volkswagen Beatle, I began to return to my body, the sights and sounds of the Pacific Ocean washed over me. As my eyes slivered open, they fixed upon the horizon. My heart fluttered for a second - not skipping a beat but almost as if a butterfly took ahold of it and flew it a few feet outside my body.  A sharp, short pain hit my chest as I realized the power of the water. I felt the fiercest desire to enter through the foaming, freezing front to the even colder turquoise waves. I stripped down to my underwear (painfully underprepared trip) and shamelessly sprinted toward the ocean, amidst Sunday surfers. As I reached the water I jumped into a wild wave, which would make me truly wonder at the power of the waves. –Anonymous 

  • The most recent time I was in total amazement and awe of something was stepping into the general collection section of the new campus library. There were dozens of shelves with hundreds of books that I couldn’t help but think what each one contained. I was also in awe of how many hours had been poured into each book by people I’ll never meet. It also struck me how under-appreciated books are becoming, and how most of the books on those shelves won’t be read again. Despite that dreary thought, I couldn’t contain my excitement for all the potential knowledge in one room. –Emily 

  • I was last in awe when I was listening to younger children speak English while babysitting. It is fascinating to me how they can understand each other and use complicated tenses with ease. –Anonymous 

  • The moments when I am so completely filled with wonder that it causes me to just be still are in the simple, yet profound views of God’s creation. Most recently I was at the top of the Charlottesville mountains and as I looked out across the skyline I couldn’t help but just thank God for the beauty He created. Creation cries out to God. Its beauty and order reflect him. In the changing of the trees, the endless mountains, the painted skyline, and the open air I am in awe of who God is and embrace the peacefulness it all brings. – Grace

  • I often find it hard to feel wonder. I don’t stop very often to really appreciate these things. Usually, when people think of wonder they will talk about being on top of a mountain or surrounded by nature. I don’t get that feeling there. I think they are beautiful, but God created the whole universe, why wouldn’t He make something as beautiful as the mountains. I experience wonder in our relationships with each other. I find it amazing that amidst our sinful nature, we can care for each other and perform selfless acts. When I hear about or see someone giving all they have to someone in need, maybe even someone they don’t know, I find myself needing to pause to fully appreciate it. I think caring for strangers is something so far from our natural sinful nature that anytime someone does it, it is truly wonderful.  –Alexa 

Everyone has a unique experience of wonder. Those responses show individual glimpses into what wonder can look and feel like to someone else. What about you, friend? When was the last time you felt wonder? Please share in the comments below and add to the list about wonderful experiences – I would love to hear more about what your experience was like. 

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