I love the word “WONDER”! I was listening to the song “God Of Wonders” yesterday, and contemplated the meaning of that statement. It’s amazing how often we use this term wonderful. I’ll never forget the duet that Sandy Patty and Larnelle Harris did some 20 years ago, ”More Than Wonderful”! Wow, that song almost always brought the Church to their feet. That we can “ponder”, or “wonder” about life and all that it encompasses, especially as ones who have been gifted with eternal life, is, well, it’s WONDERFUL! To realize that “wonder” includes awe, amazement and admiration (Dictionary.com) while at the same time includes the definition “to doubt” is a wonder in itself.
A few years ago Kathy and I were taken to the place near Chennai, India where the Apostle Thomas was martyred – the man who would not believe in Christ’s resurrection unless he was able to physically touch Jesus’ wounds. There we stood, looking at the Chapel over which the words “My Lord and My God” are written – St. Thomas’ exclamation when he saw the risen Lord. I was taken back that a man of such doubt, became of man of such “Wonder”. I love those words “My Lord and My God”. They are filled with such a sense of overwhelming awe, that Jesus would go out of His way to reach out to someone who had no faith, and prove to Him that he was truly alive and physically risen from the dead. Certainly Thomas was experiencing “wonder” in all its definitions: from doubt to faith.
Kathy and I have been experiencing this, in a way, with some good friends. After several years of praying and standing together with these folks concerning a diagnosis of “Motor Neuron Disease” (ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease) our brother now stands in total wonder before Jesus, who stood before Thomas so long ago. I’m sure that Nick is looking at those nail prints, touching the side of his Beloved King who bore such sorrow for all of us, and for Nick. Now Kathy and I, with and Alison (Nick’s wife) remain here on this earth, God’s wonderful creation, and we are daily pondering the awesomeness of life, and life after!!
For sure these times of wonder do include doubt, and I am so glad that this in fact is a part of wonder. Someone once said, “Faith is not faith unless there is an element of doubt”. Thomas was certainly an example of this! The man who defined himself as a doubter, became the man who dramatically introduced the Gospel to India! Thomas certainly had no idea the impact his life would have on Asia. Neither I’m sure do we realize just how much God has done and is doing through Nick and Alison’s life together here on this earth. That we seemed to experience defeat in Nick’s passing, is simply a part of wonder, and when I ponder God’s ways, I come to the same conclusion Thomas came to: “MY LORD, AND MY WONDERFUL GOD”.
(Photos on this page show the "wonder" of star-gazing on Mauna Kea at 4205 meters (13,795 feet) - photo credit for the star photo by Simon Debreuil <https://www.flickr.com/photos/dataichi/7249530134/in/photostream/>, and of our own time there with Alison just a few days ago)