So it’s school concert time and Cam is an elephant and I’m wondering if there’s a pull-yourself-together pill I can take because (1) kids (2) on a stage plus (3) music about (4) Africa – that’s four big tear triggers right there and I can feel the flood building in the opening bars of Circle of Life. I focus on being blasé but –
I cry. Because our Cam is singing brave into the audience blur with unflagging faith that, though he can’t see us, we’re not taking our eyes off him. The wonder of trust. And the stage hums and rocks with the wonder of some two hundred very cute versions of wildlife and the spellbinding splendour of this continent of beauty and possibility where troubled waters run deep but our blood runs deeper, and wise beyond their years these littles are singing the truth that It’s gonna take a lot to drag me away from you / There’s nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do / God bless the rains down in Africa / Gonna take some time to do the things we never had. They’re belting out celebration in rainbow colours and they’re a picture of the future – awakening the wonder.
Cam comes home like he’s won an Oscar and there’s so much wonder in allowing small humans to be elephants on stage. I climb up to his bunk to say goodnight and it’s his turn to get a little teary because the concert is finished now. There’s wonder in that too. Wonder in grieving when good things come to an end because it means the wonder never wore off.
Then I go on a date with my four-year-old. He’ll only be four for another month and then – the wonder! – he’ll be one whole handful of fingers. We spend the morning at Irene Dairy touching the wonder of calves, chickens, French fries and clotted cream. I’m savouring the wonder of this slow time that’s slipping fast. Trying not to push so hard when his S-c-o-t-t isn’t perfect on his homework write-and-wipe because he’ll sign his name over and over all-grownup for decades to come. He probably won’t bite his toast into animal shapes forever.
On the way to the dairy I take Scott down Lawrence Lane, to show him where I first lived when I first left home. It was fourteen years ago at the kitchen counter of that garden cottage that Murray first kissed me but I can taste the wonder like it was yesterday and I’m wondering how marriages might be different if we all pretended that every time was the first time? If we determined to awaken the wonder?
The week wanes and I wane with it. I’m all peopled-out – don’t have anything more to pour – and I know I need to awaken the wonder by asking God to pour into me: to let me see as He sees, so that I would do as He says. Because awakening the wonder in us is what awakens the wonder in others, and in a dying, disillusioned world.
So I’m praying for you and me, that we’d never yawn at the wonder that God spoke out and called life but that we’d be awestruck again and again – by Africa, by kisses and thick fresh cream – enough to keep on bundling all that shimmers into small arms outstretched, so that those arms grow strong under the weight of glory.
May we stand amazed, and awaken the wonder.
. . .
More on some books and free stuff over here.