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Let’s Talk: About Wonder

Photo of Rev. Dr. Diane WeibleIn Valarie Kaur’s newsletter last week, she explored the topic of Wonder.

In the work I do in the practice of coaching, wonder is something near and dear to my heart.

I see wonder as being what allows us to approach something with an open heart and curiosity. I see it at the opposite of certainty. When we are certain about something, sometimes, it means we have already made our assumptions and judgments and we have closed ourselves off from other stories, of other ways of seeing an issue or an individual.Valarie says in her newsletter that who we wonder about determines whose stories we let into our hearts.

“To wonder is to let in a sense of awe, openness, and deep curiosity. It is to look upon the face of anyone or anything and say: You are a part of me I do not yet know. It’s an orientation to humility. Wondering about another person — their thoughts and experiences, pains and joys, needs and wants — gives us information for how to love them. It’s how we have learned how to love our partners, children, and friends. When we wonder about people we would otherwise see as strangers, and let even them inside our circle of care, then wonder becomes a revolutionary act.”

In Glennon Doyle’s podcast this week, she spoke to poet Ocean Vuong. Ocean shared his experiences of walking into a store with his mother as a child and witnessing the assumptions that people made about who his mother was or what she could or couldn’t do. He talked about his own experience of that as well and how limiting it is when we make up stories for another person based on our own lived experiences.

My choosing wonder over assumptions we are committing to a practice of stepping out of our own single narrative and seeking to discover parts of God’s creation and parts of ourselves that are still hidden from us.

We are deep into the season of Lent. This season is a time for us to open our ears and our eyes and our hearts to understand what God may be trying to tell us. This is an invitation to a wonder-ful way of seeing the breadth and depth of who God is and how God may be speaking to us.

As we conclude the final week of Lent and prepare for Holy Week, I hope and pray that we will be curious about what is going on in our bodies and in our minds and in our hearts. What are we wondering about? Whose story are we leaning into and what do those stories teach us about ourselves?

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