I was thrilled to be the guest reader in her classroom. Eyes sparkling as she walked through the room, she was clearly excited to show off her mom. I had the privilege of reading We Are All Wonders by R.J. Palacio, a picture book that compliments the chapter book, Wonder, that their class is storming through to finish before the movie is released Friday. The chapter book carries a strong anti-bullying message and the picture book a message that we're all amazing people just as we are. This is great literature for any age!
Fast forward a day as I exchange texts with a new dear friend updating each other on prayer requests and reports. As I continued to pray for this friend and her family, I praised God for her son's smile. After a rough day, she reported he smiled: one of the few ways he is able to communicate. As usual, this young man was a trooper in the midst of difficult circumstances. I thought about the books being read in this young classroom and I thought, "Her son is a wonder!" Truthfully, we really are all wonders! All the quirks that make us unique (and believe me, in a household of five, I see we've all got 'em..myself mostly) make us marvelously unique and special beings.
And then my thoughts drop 24 inches to the little one kicking and squirming in my womb, whom we cannot hardly wait to meet face to face. We are fully convinced that this child is a wonder even though we've never laid an eye on him or her.
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:13-14
Wonder is used twice in these verses. First to describe mankind. Second to describe God. The original Hebrew words are similar but not the same. Translated, "wonderfully made," into English is a verb that means to be created with a difference, to be shown marvelous, to be set apart, to be illustrious. This is how God made us; different from the rest of creation. And each man and woman is different and magnificent according to God's perfection decision and He made man and woman set apart perfectly in His image (Genesis 1:27).
We are set apart and made wonderfully because He is set apart and made us to be like him. The next "wonderful in this verse describes God's active work. This verb, "wonderful" describes God's work and He is more marvelous than we and set apart from any other god because He is creating and sustaining the world while also supporting His people. This is beyond anything man could do. Indeed for man to do it would be impossible. Yet He does it and proves Himself 100% marvelous.
Why do I more easily see the wonder of a person with extreme disabilities, daily physical obstacles or a newborn baby than the wonder of my neighbor or myself? I tend to see my own life as average, not a wonder. I see my goldenhead's lives as typical. The engineer's life and its tasks as challenging. And lately, talking with grandpa, I find myself questioning the Wonderful God's purpose for not calling grandpa home to be with grandma in heaven. Yet God set every man, woman and child, no matter how young or old, apart as a wonder and has a marvelous plan for each moment of our lives.
Will we choose to believe it? Will we stop trying to change who we are to become more significant and believe that our original design is marvelous? I don't mean to let ourselves waste away but to realize God gave us our quirks and unique characteristics for His Wonderful purpose. Start by believing this about yourself. Then ask God to let you believe it about your neighbor, co-worker, spouse or child.

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